Updated on May 18, 2024
2 min read

Updated Drug and Alcohol Statistics for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is grappling with a significant drug and alcohol abuse problem, with the state experiencing high rates of substance use disorders, opioid-related overdose deaths, and excessive alcohol consumption. This article presents an overview of the current state of drug and alcohol use in Pennsylvania, highlighting alarming statistics on the opioid crisis, youth substance use, and the challenges in providing adequate treatment and recovery services.

  • Alcohol kills more people than drug overdoses in Pennsylvania, with more than 5,700 annual alcohol-related deaths reported between 2015-19.1
  • The presence of opioids was reported in 82% of drug-related overdose deaths, with fentanyl observed in 70% of decedents, doubling the rate of heroin involvement.2
  • Pennsylvania reported 4,491 drug-related overdose deaths in 2018.3
Pennsylvania chart 1

Substance Use and Disorders

Pennsylvania faces challenges with substance use and disorders, with rates close to or above the national average.

  • Approximately 7.99% of Pennsylvania residents reported using illicit drugs in the past month, slightly below the national average.4
  • Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Pennsylvania.4

Alcohol Use and Related Issues

Alcohol use is a major concern in Pennsylvania, with excessive drinking and binge drinking contributing to numerous health and social problems.

  • Alcohol kills more people than drug overdoses in Pennsylvania, with more than 5,700 annual alcohol-related deaths reported between 2015-19.1
  • 17% of Pennsylvania residents binge drink, aligning with the national figure.1
  • Pennsylvanians consume an average of about 522 drinks a year, slightly below the national average.1
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Opioid Crisis and Overdose Deaths

The opioid crisis has had a devastating impact on Pennsylvania, with a high number of opioid-related overdose deaths and the increasing presence of fentanyl.

  • The presence of opioids was reported in 82% of drug-related overdose deaths.2
  • Fentanyl was observed in 70% of decedents, doubling the rate of heroin involvement.2
  • Pennsylvania reported 4,491 drug-related overdose deaths in 2018.3

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Youth Substance Use

Youth substance use is a significant concern in Pennsylvania, with data from various surveys providing insights into the issue.

  • Comparable estimates for past 30-day substance use among school-aged youth in Pennsylvania were provided by the PAYS and YRBSS.5

The statistics presented in this article highlight the severity of the drug and alcohol abuse problem in Pennsylvania. From the alarming rates of alcohol-related deaths to the devastating impact of the opioid crisis and the concerns surrounding youth substance use, it is evident that urgent action is needed to address these issues. By investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery services, and fostering collaboration among community stakeholders, Pennsylvania can work towards supporting those struggling with addiction and creating a healthier future for all its residents.

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Updated on May 18, 2024

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