The Hard Statistics

Very high percentages of Americans drink heavily or use illicit drugs.  According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the U. S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, 22.9% of Americans aged 12 or older binge drank (defined as drinking five or more drinks on one occasion) at least once and 9.4% used at least one illicit drug during the 30 days prior to taking the survey.  6.5% of the population 12 or older binge drank on at least 5 out of the previous 30 days!   

As a result of this heavy alcohol and drug usage, 22.7 million Americans (8.6% of those 12 or older) were judged by standard medical criteria to need treatment for drug or alcohol abuse last year.  However, only 2.5 million Amerians (0.9% of those 12 or older) received treatment at a specialty facility.