Updated on May 17, 2024
3 min read

Updated Drug and Alcohol Statistics for Alabama

Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious issue in Alabama, impacting individuals, families, and communities across the state. This article provides an overview of key statistics related to substance use, addiction, and treatment in Alabama, highlighting the extent of the problem and the need for effective solutions.

  • From 2017 to 2019, the annual average rate of alcohol use disorder in Alabama was 5.3% (218,000 people), similar to the regional and national averages.1
  • Alabama experienced an alarming increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths from 121 in 2018 to 835 deaths in 2022.2
  • Nearly 12,000 people were seeking substance use disorder treatment in Alabama as of 2022.3
Alabama statistics

Substance Use Disorder and Treatment Rates

Alabama has rates of substance use disorders that are similar to regional and national averages. Some key statistics include:

  • From 2017 to 2019, the annual average rate of substance use disorder in Alabama was 12.3% (63,000 people).1
  • The annual average rate of illicit drug use disorder among people aged 12 or older was 3.2% (132,000 people).1
  • Among youth aged 12–17, the annual average percentage of illicit drug use was 7.2%.1

These numbers highlight the widespread nature of substance use issues in the state.

Opioid Crisis and Overdose Deaths

The opioid epidemic has hit Alabama particularly hard in recent years. Here are some troubling statistics:

  • From 2006 through 2014, there were 5,128 deaths from overdoses in Alabama.4 The overdose death rate climbed 82% during this period.4
  • In 2016, Alabama was the highest per capita opioid prescribing state, with a rate of 121 prescriptions per 100 people.4
  • In 2021, there were 1,408 overdose deaths in Alabama, with 30.1 overdose deaths per 100,000 people.5

The sharp rise in opioid prescribing and overdose deaths underscores the urgent need to address this crisis.


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Youth Substance Use

Substance use among young people in Alabama is a growing concern. A study found that:

  • One-fifth of Alabama students in grades 6 through 12 admitted to using alcohol in the past month.6
  • More than ten percent of these students admitted to using illegal drugs.6

Early intervention and prevention efforts are crucial to help young people avoid developing substance use disorders.

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Treatment and Recovery

Access to quality treatment and recovery services is essential for those struggling with addiction in Alabama. Consider these facts:

  • On average, a patient in Alabama residential rehab can expect to pay $58,607.7
  • There are 171 active substance abuse centers in Alabama, serving 14,578 patients annually.7
  • 13,567 patients enroll in Alabama drug rehab outpatient services each year.7

While treatment options are available, the high cost and limited capacity of rehab facilities can be barriers to getting help.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental health and substance abuse often go hand in hand. In Alabama:

  • According to SAMHSA, 41% of Alabama adults sought medical treatment for a mental health issue between 2017-2019.8

Addressing mental health is a key part of comprehensive addiction treatment and prevention.

The statistics presented in this article paint a troubling picture of the drug and alcohol addiction landscape in Alabama. From high rates of substance use disorders to the devastating impact of the opioid crisis, it's clear that bold action is needed to turn the tide. By investing in prevention, expanding access to quality treatment, and supporting those in recovery, Alabama can work towards a healthier, more hopeful future for all its residents.

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Updated on May 17, 2024

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