Each September during the National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) observance, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), releases the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The survey is a prime source of information on the prevalence and impact of mental and substance use disorders across the country, as well as statistics that can add context to a Recovery Month event.
Sharing statistics and trends adds credibility and helps you achieve your goals for your event. In addition, members of the media are more likely to cover an event if there is information that supports mental and substance use disorders as a public health issue. State-specific statistics are also a good way to illustrate the local impact of behavioral health conditions.
The following facts illustrate that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from these conditions. Included are facts about each audience – young adults, families and caregivers of young people, health care providers, and community leaders – referenced in this year’s toolkit. This data national in focus and can be supplemented by researching local figures in your city or state.
- In 2011, 45.6 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had a mental illness in the past year.1
- In 2011, 31.6 million adults aged 18 or older reported receiving mental health services in the past year.2
- Serious mental illness is associated with an estimated total economic cost of $317 billion per year.3
- In the United States, a person dies from suicide every 15 minutes.4
Substance Use Disorders…
- In 2011, 20.6 million people aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year.5 In 2011, 19.3 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem, but did not receive treatment at a specialty facility in the past year.6
- Substance use costs the country an estimated $510 billion annually, including specialty alcohol and drug services, medical consequences, lost productivity due to death and illness, and injury or legal costs.7
Behavioral Health is Essential to Health…
- In 2011, eight million adults reported having co-occurring disorders, meaning they have both a mental and a substance use disorder.8
- Individuals with mental illnesses have increased risk for a number of physical health problems, including diabetes,9 cardiovascular disease,10 obesity, and smoking.11 Half of all lifetime cases of mental and substance use disorders begin by age 14 and three-fourths by age 24.12
- Untreated mental and substance use disorders lead to more deaths than traffic accidents, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer combined.13
Behavioral Health and Insurance…
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data show nearly one in four people with mental or substance use disorders lack health insurance. For those with both mental illness and substance use issues the figure is 30 percent.14
- Open enrollment for the expansions in coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins on October 1, 2013.
- SAMHSA is engaging in an aggressive communications effort that reaches the more than 11 million currently uninsured individuals with behavioral health needs.
- For help finding information on health insurance options, the Affordable Care Act, and information on prevention and wellness resources visit http://www.healthcare.gov.
- The first symptoms typically precede a mental and/or substance use disorder by two to four years, offering a window of opportunity to intervene early and often.15
- Research shows that for every $1.00 invested in prevention and early treatment programs, $2.00 to $10.00 could be saved in health costs, criminal and juvenile justice costs, educational costs, and lost productivity.16
- A well-implemented public awareness campaign raises cognizance of the signs and symptoms of mental disorders and risks for suicide.17
- In 2011, approximately one in eight youths aged 12 to 17 reported that they had participated in drug, tobacco, or alcohol prevention programs outside of school in the past year.18
- In 2011, the prevalence of past month use of illicit drugs or marijuana was lower among those who reported having exposure to drug or alcohol prevention messages.19
Treatment is Effective…
- Scientific research shows that treatment can help patients addicted to drugs stop using, avoid relapse, and successfully recover their lives.20
- Approximately 80 percent of patients with depressive disorders improve significantly with treatment and recovery support services.21
- Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.22
- Approximately three-quarters of Americans believe that recovery is possible from addiction to substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and marijuana.23
- Two-thirds of Americans believe that treatment and support can help people with mental illnesses lead normal lives.24
- Health care providers:
- The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies and describes more than 300 types of conditions, ranging from anorexia to schizophrenia.25
- More than 80 percent of Americans had contact with a health care professional in the past year, placing these professionals in a unique position to screen, identify, and intervene early for a substance use disorder. Additionally, doctors are able to prescribe medications and to identify abuse (or nonmedical use) of prescription drugs.26
- Young adults:
- In 2011, the percentage of young adults 18 to 25 (29.8 percent) who had a mental illness was the highest among all adult age groups.27
- In 2011, the rate of substance dependence or abuse among adults aged 18 to 25 (18.6 percent) was higher than that among youths aged 12 to 17 (6.9 percent) and among adults aged 26 or older (6.3 percent).28
- In 2009, 30 percent of people aged 18 to 24 years and 28 percent of people aged 25 to 34 years were uninsured, compared to only 13 percent of people 35 years of age and older.29
- Families and caregivers of young people:
- For youth aged 9 to 13, moms, dads, and grandparents are considered the most trusted sources of information.30
- Youths aged 12 to 17 who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their using substances were less likely to use that substance than were youths who believed their parents would somewhat disapprove or neither approve nor disapprove.31
- In 2011, 1.4 million youths (5.7 percent) had a past year major depressive episode with severe impairment in one or more role domains, such as doing chores at home, school, or work; relationships with family members or caregivers; or social life.32
- Community leaders:
- From 2007 to 2010, 12.3 percent of people seeking treatment for illicit drug or alcohol abuse were deterred from treatment because they were concerned their community would have a negative opinion of them.33
- During the same time period, 8.0 percent of people were deterred from mental health services treatment because they were concerned their community would have a negative opinion of them.34
Inclusion of websites and other resources mentioned in this document and on the Recovery Month website does not constitute official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.