Updated on May 17, 2024
3 min read

Updated Drug and Alcohol Statistics for Missouri

Missouri has been grappling with a significant drug and alcohol addiction crisis, which has had far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities across the state. This article presents an overview of the latest statistics on overdose deaths, substance use disorders, the opioid crisis, alcohol use and related issues, and youth substance use in Missouri, highlighting the urgent need for effective solutions.

  • Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death among adults age 18-44 in Missouri.1
  • Over 70% of drug overdose deaths in Missouri involve opioids.1
  • The economic impact of the opioid crisis in Missouri is estimated at $12.6 billion.2
Missouri chart 1

Overdose Deaths

Overdose deaths are a significant issue in Missouri, with the state ranking among the middle tier for drug overdose death rates. Here are some key statistics:

  • In 2020, Missouri ranked 32nd among all states and DC for drug overdose death rates.1

The high number of overdose deaths, particularly among young adults, underscores the need for effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders are prevalent in Missouri, with a significant number of residents using illicit drugs and seeking treatment. Consider these statistics:

  • An estimated 68,000 Missouri residents used cocaine in the past year, according to 2018-2019 data.3
  • Approximately 543,000 Missouri residents used an illicit drug in the month preceding the survey.3
  • In fiscal year 2020, more than 20,000 Missouri residents with illicit drug use disorders accessed treatment services supported by the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH).3

These numbers demonstrate the widespread nature of substance use disorders in Missouri and the importance of accessible treatment services.


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Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic has hit Missouri particularly hard, with a significant increase in opioid overdose deaths and high rates of opioid prescriptions. Here are some troubling statistics:

  • There was a 35% increase in opioid overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016 (672 vs 908 deaths), and a 5% increase from 2016 to 2017 (908 vs 951 deaths).2
  • In 2018, Missouri providers wrote 63.4 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons, more than the national average rate of 51.4 per 100.24
Missouri chart 2

The alarming increase in opioid-related deaths and the high rate of opioid prescriptions underscore the urgent need to address this crisis through comprehensive prevention, treatment, and harm reduction strategies.

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Alcohol Use and Related Issues

Alcohol use and related issues are significant concerns in Missouri, contributing to numerous deaths and years of potential life lost. Here are some relevant statistics:

  • 19.2% of adults in Missouri reported binge drinking in 2011.5
  • Excessive drinking results in 1,866 deaths and 55,681 years of potential life lost each year in Missouri.5

Addressing alcohol-related issues through prevention, treatment, and policy changes is crucial for improving public health in Missouri.

Youth Substance Use

Substance use among young adults in Missouri has remained relatively stable in recent years. Here is a relevant statistic:

  • The annual average percentage of illicit drug use disorder among young adults aged 18–25 did not significantly change between 2015 and 2019, remaining at 7.5%.6

Continued efforts to prevent substance use among youth and provide early intervention services are essential for promoting healthy development.

The statistics presented in this article paint a grim picture of the drug and alcohol addiction landscape in Missouri. From the high rates of overdose deaths and the devastating impact of the opioid crisis to the concerning levels of alcohol-related issues, it is clear that the state faces significant challenges in addressing this crisis. However, by prioritizing prevention, expanding access to quality treatment, and supporting long-term recovery, Missouri can work towards a healthier, more resilient future for all its residents.

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Updated on May 17, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on May 17, 2024
  1. "Opioids." Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, accessed 2023.
  2. "Missouri Opioid Crisis Data Fact Sheet." Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, accessed 2023.
  3. "Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health." Missouri Department of Mental Health, 2021.
  4. "Opioid Prescribing Rates in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Counties Among Primary Care Providers Using an Electronic Health Record System - United States, 2014-2017." MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2020.
  5. "Excessive Alcohol Use in Missouri." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013.
  6. "Behavioral Health Barometer: Missouri, Volume 6." Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2020.

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