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40 Million Americans ages

12 and older-or more than

1 in 7 people misuse or have an addiction to nicotine, alcohol,

or other drugs.


This is more than the number of

Americans with:

  • heart conditions (27 million)

  • diabetes (26 million)

  • cancer (19 million)


Source: CASAColumbia. (2012). Addiction medicine: Closing the gap between science and practice.


What is substance use disorder?


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), no longer uses the terms substance abuse and substance dependence, rather it refers to substance use disorders, which are defined as Mild, moderate, or severe to indicate the level of severity, which is determined by the number of diagnostic criteria met by an individual. Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of substance use disorder is based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria.


Reference: SAMHSA.gov

Need help?


The Alcohol / Drug Council of NC provides information and referrals to alcohol and drug treatment. 

We also provide educational programs and materials to businesses, community groups, families, and individuals.