The 10 Most Common Substance Use Disorders in America

Top 10 addictions drugs alcohol tobacco paraphernalia

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.3 million people in the US reported having a substance abuse disorder. That’s roughly 7% of the population.

To have a substance use disorder means that a person continues to use a particular substance(s) despite problems the behavior may be causing to health, relationships, employment etc. Signs may include:

 Taking a substance for longer than you want to, or in increasingly larger amounts
 Craving and wanting to use
 A desire to quit, but an inability to do so
 Not managing other responsibilities because of substance use
 Using the substance even when it puts you in danger or causes problems with your relationships

 The most common addictions or substance use disorders are:

  1. Nicotine

  2. Alcohol

  3. Marijuana

  4. Painkillers (such as opioids)

  5. Cocaine

  6. Heroin

  7. Benzodiazepines

  8. Stimulants

  9. Inhalants

  10. Sedatives


One of the trickier aspects of substance use disorder and addiction is that it can be progressive. In other words, people may try a substance multiple times before it becomes problematic. According to MedLine Plus, there are usually several stages of use before addiction:

 Experimental use — Typically involves peers, done for recreational use; the user may enjoy defying parents or other authority figures.
 Regular use — The user misses more and more school or work; worries about losing drug source; uses drugs to “fix” negative feelings; begins to stay away from friends and family; may change friends to those who are regular users; shows increased tolerance and ability to “handle” the drug.
 Problem or risky use — The user loses any motivation; does not care about school and work; has obvious behavior changes; thinking about drug use is more important than all other interests, including relationships; the user becomes secretive; may begin dealing drugs to help support habit; use of other, harder drugs may increase; legal problems may increase.
 Addiction — Cannot face daily life without drugs; denies problem; physical condition gets worse; loss of “control” over use; may become suicidal; financial and legal problems get worse; may have broken ties with family members or friends.

Whether you are worried about someone else’s use of drugs or alcohol or have concerns about your own, our faith based recovery programs offer a place to heal from addiction and reset your faith. We accept patients from all over the US, no matter how severe the addiction may be. At Stones River Recovery, we bring strong spiritual focus to our patients, knowing that putting Christ as the central feature of treatment means they can find the meaning they once had or have never experienced before.

If you’d like to know more about how we treat specific substance use disorders, call us today at 888-512-3306 or click here to get help now.