IUPUI: Substance Abuse in Indiana

An Urban-Rural Perspective Report

The use of alcohol and drugs is a significant public health problem in the United States. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimated that in 2015, 13.1 million American adults had an alcohol use disorder, 5.1 million had an illicit substance use disorder, and an additional 2.7 million had both disorders.

These estimates do not include the millions of people across the country who use alcohol or drugs at lower, but still problematic levels. The economic impact attributable to substance use is staggering. Estimates from 2007 indicate that the consequences arising from alcohol and illicit drug use have cost the nation $223.5 and $193 billion respectively. Much of the expense stems from lost productivity in the labor force, treatment for substance use disorders and their associated health consequences, and alcohol- and drug-related criminal justice activities.

Loss of life is a particularly significant outcome tied to substance use that cannot be measured in dollars. The age-adjusted rate of drug- and alcohol-related deaths has increased by 88% , from 14.0 deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 26.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2015.

To better address alcohol and other drug use, policymakers need to know what the most commonly used substances are, where in the state these substances are being used, and who is using them. The purpose of this report is to describe variations in drug use and related consequences, as well as the availability of treatment resources in Indiana across the urban-rural continuum.

Our goal is to inform policymakers and planners, prevention and treatment professionals, as well as the general public about the status of substance use, abuse, and treatment opportunities available across differing geographic areas of the state.

Read the full report.