It is natural to sometimes feel that you are alone in the issues that you are struggling with, but substance abuse affects people all across the state of Missouri. Statistics reveal that addiction doesn’t discriminate by age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status.

General Facts About Addiction in Missouri

You might know the stories of addiction and recovery from your inner circle of people, or maybe from your town or church—but do you know much about substance abuse in Missouri as a whole?

The following facts are from the most recent Status Report on Missouri’s Substance Use and Mental Health by the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH).

  • The DMH stated that about 388,000 Missouri residents had a substance use disorder in 2018.
  • A map on the prevalence of substance use breaks down these residents by percent of people 12 years old and up in each region, with the highest in the Central Region at 8.83%.
  • Out of these 388,000 people: 5.25% were between 12 and 17 years old, 17% were between 18 and 25 years old, and 6.88% were age 26 and up.
  • In 2016, 50,000 people were diagnosed with substance use disorder following hospital and/or emergency room visits.
  • Over the past 10 years, there have sadly been more than 15,000 recorded deaths due to drug and alcohol overdoses.
  • In 2017, there were 6,600 traffic crashes involving substance-impaired driving, which resulted in 228 deaths and 3,652 injuries.
  • According to this map, “more than 3,000 children each year are separated from their parents due to parental substance use disorders. These substance-related out-of-home placements account for nearly one-half of all juvenile placements.”

Substance-Specific Facts About Addiction in Missouri

  • With the highest rates in the Western region, 294,000 residents suffered from alcoholism.
  • Between 2013-2017, 112,000 people accessed treatment for “illicit drug use disorder.”
  • About 17,000 residents used heroin over the past year. The majority (12,000) were adults age 25 and up. According to this map of heroin use, the Southeast region and St. Louis area had the highest rates.
  • During the past year, about 39,000 residents had a “pain reliever use disorder” which most often refers to opioid abuse. Again, the largest age group affected was adults over age 25 (29,000 people).
  • Between census results from 2012-2014 and 2014-2016, the percentage of people using cocaine in Missouri went down for the age groups of 12-17 years old (by 0.02%), and above 25 years old (by 0.06%). Unfortunately, they went up by 0.78% in the 18-25 years old age group (from 3.13% to 3.91%). Overall, these patterns by age group were consistent across the United States.
    • Over the course of two years, in the 18-25 age group: Central Missouri went from 3.47% to 5.26%, the St. Louis area went from 2.50% to 4.20%, and Eastern Missouri went from 3.12% to 5.46.

Facts About Recovery Treatment in Missouri

  • 170,000 residents were able to access recovery treatment during 2013-2017. According to this map, the “Statewide 5-year average annual rate was 56 admissions per 10,000 population.”
  • According to the 33,462 people who attended treatment in 2017, the primary referral source was the client themselves or by family. The average age was 19 years old for the first use of their primary drug.
  • The DMH also measured the unmet need for treatment.
    • From the age group of 18-25 years old, 12.67% suffered from alcoholism and 6.49% from drug addiction, all without receiving the much-needed recovery treatment.
    • The region with the highest percent of untreated alcoholism in this age group was Eastern Missouri excluding the city of St. Louis at 15.47%, with the St. Louis area at 11.94%.
    • The region with the highest percent of untreated drug addiction in this age group was Central Missouri at 7.07%, the St. Louis area had 7.00%.

The Aviary is a recovery center in Missouri with two locations: a residential treatment program in Fenton and an intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Eolia. Contact us to find out which local program would best suit you and your recovery journey.

For more information about The Aviary Recovery Center, IOP Missouri, please contact us anytime at
(888) 998-8655. We’re here to help.