Top 10 Addictions People Go To Rehab For

Posted by Jackson Bentley on Aug 2, 2018 8:00:00 AM
Jackson Bentley
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No addiction is the same. Addicts all have different circumstances and reasons for why they become addicted in the first place and why they continue to have a substance dependency. If you have ever been curious about what addictions most people go to rehab for, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality have maintained a survey that is distributed among treatment centers in the U.S. TEDS, known as the Treatment Episode Data Set, collects data on programs in every state that receive some type of federal or state funding.

 The data gives us a glimpse not only into the types of addictions that people are seeking treatment for, but also the age and demographic breakdown of these people. Here’s what the information from the 2015 Treatment Episode Data Set tells us:


  • In 2015, there were well over 1.6 million admissions into substance abuse treatment facilities.
  • 65.5% of admissions were males.
  • The largest age demographic for this group was 26-30, which made up 17.6% of admissions.
  • The second largest age demographic was 31-35, which made up 15.1% of admissions.
  • Caucasian’s were the largest racial demographic for treatment at roughly 65.6%, followed by African Americans at 18.8%


A pie chart showing a visual breakdown of the top addictions people go to rehab for.



#1 Heroin

27% of individuals

Heroin continues to devastate the families and communities of those who take it. Despite years of law enforcement and regulations to reduce the damage of heroin in the United States, the drug has a seen surge in popularity due to the opioid crisis. The growth in prescription painkiller addiction has seen a matching rise in heroin abuse as addicts seek a less expensive, easier to obtain substitute in heroin. Heroin saw a 15% rise in treatment admissions between 2014 and 2015. Roughly 80% of heroin addicts report that they started with misusing a prescription opioid medication.


#2 Alcohol

20% of individuals

Alcohol is still the most commonly abused substance in the world. Within the United States, the culture of drinking has lead to many people developing alcohol dependencies. Alcoholism in America is reported to affect nearly one in eight citizens, at least according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. 86.4% of people ages 18 or older have drank alcohol at one point in their lives, and 56% have drunk in the last month. Regarding the economic burden and death toll resulting from alcohol, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, and the financial cost is somewhere upwards of $250 billion.


#3 Alcohol + Other Drugs

15% of individuals

Alcohol is often used as a way to level or enhance the effects of other drugs. As the most popularly abused substance in the world, it is also a gateway to harder substances. 54% of people who have used an illicit substance report that they first tried alcohol before their drug of choice. Mixing alcohol with secondary drugs is extremely popular, but it is also an extremely dangerous method of consumption. 75% of overdoses and 98% of fatal overdoses involve more than one substance.


#4 Marijuana

15% of individuals

Recreational marijuana use has risen in recent years with increasing legalization in multiple states. Marijuana, similar to CBD oils, is still a Schedule I narcotic, meaning it has no federally recognized medicinal value and could be potentially addictive. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 9% of cannabis users eventually become dependent on the drug, meaning there are millions of people who could require treatment for this substance dependency. Two states that have a large problem with marijuana use are Oklahoma and Kentucky. Although KY marijuana laws exist as well as marijuana laws in Oklahoma, it is still a big problem in those states, as well as the whole nation. 


#5 Amphetamines

9% of individuals

This classification includes amphetamines and methamphetamine, as well as ecstasy, bath salts, and prescription medications like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin. Methamphetamine is among the most dangerous stimulants to abuse, as it carries a longer half-life than cocaine and can create insomnia, paranoia, and anxiety. Stimulants such as methamphetamine are growing in popularity and usage among both users and Mexican cartels that supply the majority of illicit substances in the United States.


#6 Prescription Opioids

9% of individuals 

This classification includes all prescription opioids such as codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl, and more. At this point, many of us are familiar with the epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States. In 2016, roughly 64,000 people died from an overdose of drugs, with opioids accounting for two-thirds of body count. Since 1999, deaths related to opioid abuse have nearly quadrupled, while the number of deaths tied explicitly to fentanyl and new synthetic opioids has more than doubled in the last two years alone. These deaths now surpass the all-time highs for annual deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions, HIV, and guns. It’s safe to say that the opioid crisis constitutes a severe public health crisis.


#7 Cocaine

5% of individuals

Cocaine addiction first plagued the United States in the 70’s and 80’s with the introduction of the Medellin Cartel. This was followed by crack, which created chaos and turmoil among the nation’s population, particularly African Americans. Even today, more African Americans enter treatment for crack addiction while Caucasians typically snort or inject the drug. First time usage of cocaine has also risen in the past few years, with the number jumping from 766,000 in 2015 to more than 968,000 in 2016, an increase of over 26%.


#8 Benzodiazepines

0.9% of individuals

Tranquilizers include benzodiazepines used for treating symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. These include Xanax, Klonopin, Librium, Valium, and others. Withdrawal symptoms from benzos are particularly painful. Also, a dependency on benzos can develop after only two weeks of usage, even if you have been taking the drug as prescribed.


#9 PCP

0.3% of individuals

PCP, or “angel dust” is a chemical compound known for creating vivid hallucinations and possibly spurring violent behavior. Phencyclidine is commonly mixed with other substances such as tobacco or marijuana and is typically smoked, though it can also be eaten, injected, or snorted. PCP can cause long-term symptoms of schizophrenia to manifest in the user. Created as an anesthetic, this drug has gained a reputation for its wild nature and dangerous side effects/


#10 Sedatives

0.2% of individuals

Sedatives include any barbiturate. Some commonly abused barbiturates are Nembutal and Seconal and are typically prescribed for cases of anxiety and insomnia. The drug may also be used to treat epileptic seizures.


Next Steps

If you are seeking a drug and alcohol recovery center, contact Landmark Recovery today. At Landmark Recovery, we are committed to offering high-quality treatment in an environment based off of trust, treatment, and intervention. With treatment programs catered to individuals needs, we are passionate about finding what works best for you as you begin your road to recovery and happier life. When you are ready to learn about what's an intervention or even the process of inpatient rehab, call one of our dedicated admissions consultants. Our staff is a team of passionate, authentic, and courageous individuals who are uncompromising in our pursuit of excellence. Start living the life you dreamed, and begin recovery at Landmark today!



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Topics: Drug and Alcohol

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