The US drug epidemic becomes deadlier than ever

The US drug epidemic becomes deadlier than ever

A new survey of over 1,300 US adults by KFF has found that the majority have felt the impact of substance use disorder. Two-thirds said they or a family member had been addicted to drugs or alcohol, have been homeless because of addiction, or have experienced a drug overdose leading to a hospital visit or even death.

In 2022 alone, nearly 110,000 people died from a drug overdose in the US, more than in any other calendar year. Synthetic opioids caused more than two-thirds of drug-associated deaths last year, and the KFF poll found that nearly a third of US adults are worried about opioid overdose. Over a quarter said they or a member of their family has been addicted to prescription drugs or other illegal opioids.

Recent statistics reveal that over 27 million people in the United States are using illicit drugs or misusing prescription drugs. What’s more, the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics has found that half of all people aged 12 and over have used illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime. The same report also found that since 2000, there have been over 700,000 deaths in the US directly related to drug overdose.

Alcohol-use disorder was also a concern for many of the adults surveyed by KFF, with more than half saying that someone in their family had been addicted to alcohol. 1 in 8 said they had been addicted to alcohol themselves. This comes as the rate of alcohol-related deaths in the US jumped by 26% between 2019 and 2020 and continues to rise in 2023.

Shockingly, KFF found that most adults said family members who had experienced addiction did not seek or receive treatment. But, addiction had a major impact on their relationships, mental health, and financial situation.

The signs and symptoms of substance misuse

As a leading drug and alcohol testing laboratory, we understand all too well the impact that substance misuse can have on people’s day-to-day lives and these rising drug use statistics highlight a growing problem in the US.

For this reason, it is important that people can spot the signs of substance misuse, in order to get a friend, colleague or family member the help they need.

The most common signs of a person misusing drugs include:

  • Changes in physical appearance such as sudden weight loss or gain, or a lack of personal hygiene
  • Changes in behavior including wanting more privacy
  • Difficulties at work including declining performance and attendance
  • A lack of energy
  • Defensive behavior when asked about substance use
  • Changes in appetite
  • Spending more money than usual or asking to borrow more money

If you are worried about someone you know and you think they might be misusing substances, it is important to approach the conversation calmly and emphasize that you simply want to support them in getting the help they need.

Where can I buy a drug test?

AlphaBiolabs offers a range of easy-to-use, home drug tests, designed to give you peace of mind or enable you to seek support for a friend or loved one who has been misusing drugs.

Simply choose our Home Drug & Alcohol Nail Test ($99) or our Home Urine Drug Test Kit ($34.95) and order your test online now.

If you have a question or would like advice on which test is best for you, call our friendly Customer Services team on 727-325-2902, email, or use our live chat to speak to a support specialist.

Please be aware that our home drug test kits are for peace of mind only, and the results cannot be used in court.

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