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Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide. Excessive use of alcohol and drugs is ever so rampant in our society. Many of us know someone close to us who has dealt with drug or alcohol addiction.

That said, many of us are still fairly ignorant to the prevalence of alcohol and drug overuse. So, to help put it in perspective a bit, here is a statistic that may surprise you:

10% of American adults have recovered from drug or alcohol problems.

According to a survey done by the Partnership at and The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 23.5 million adults in our country report being in recovery from substance abuse or addiction. They found that one in ten adults have had drug or alcohol dependency issues.

Why this study is encouraging

You may be surprised at how many adults in our country have considered themselves addicts at one point in their life. 10% is a pretty large percentage when you think of how seriously devastating and life altering substance addiction can be! Another survey found that “38 percent of adults have a family member or close friend (or both) who is in recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs.”

It may be discouraging to think of that many of our friends and family members struggling with these type of addictions. But on the contrary, when you look at all of the findings in these surveys, they are actually quite encouraging. Their conclusions didn’t just say that 10% of our adult population has struggled with serious addiction at one point in their life or another. The key points here were that 10% of our adult community is IN RECOVERY from these addictions.

The main question that was asked in this survey was “Did you once have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but no longer do?” The 10% that answered yes to this question identified that they no longer feel they have a problem with drugs or alcohol. The important part of this survey wasn’t finding how many addicts we have in our country. It was finding how many recovered addicts we have.

Here are a couple insightful quotes from Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership at First, he said, the study “is an important contribution to the public’s understanding of recovery, as it represents the actual voices of millions of Americans whose lives have improved because they are living free of alcohol and other drug problems.” He went on to say that this study gives great hope to others that are struggling with addiction (either their own or a loved one’s).

This statistic helps us to have hope!

I have to agree with him. This survey sends a great message of hope. To anyone dealing with the effects of an addiction, they are able to see that they are not alone. 10% of our adult population have been where you are, and have overcome. Over 23.5 Americans have been able to achieve recovery.

So, take a look at what they found in this survey. Know that one tenth of the adults in our country have been in your shoes. Know that there are many that have come before you who are willing to help. Know that you have loved ones who want to help you. Know that recovery is absolutely possible. Know that there are treatment options available to you. Either way, know that there are millions of Americans have struggled with similar things that you are struggling with, and they found a way through. Just like you can.

Nicole is a guest post writer for, where they help people find the right addiction treatment to suit their needs. Read more at their site.