The Prevalence of SUD (Substance Use Disorder) in Delaware

Drinking, taking pills, and doing other illicit drugs are popular subjects in today’s media, so it’s not surprising that it has become a big issue in America. Substance use disorder is a prevalent issue in the United States, with approximately 20 million Americans suffering from this condition daily. These substance abuse issues vary widely based on state, so how prevalent are these issues in The Diamond state? There are many factors at play, and different demographics have different tendencies toward substance abuse. While Delaware drug and alcohol abuse rates are higher than that of the United States, exactly how high are they?

In Adolescents

The average alcohol use disorder in Delaware among the ages 12-17 is actually a little bit lower than the national average, but that is a trend that changes quickly. Young adults in Delaware have the highest rate of binge drinking, with almost 30% of all 18 to 24-year-old’s binging in the last 30 days, and 28% of Delaware citizens aged 25-34 doing the same. On the other hand, the national average for this age group is only 19%. 

In Adults

While binge drinking may be higher among the youth, about 17% of adults report binge drinking in the last 30 days. Not only that but about five times as many adults reported Alcohol use disorder than adolescents. Overall, the average amount of adults reporting Alcohol use disorder in Delaware is 1% higher than the national average. 


Surprisingly, there is less than a one percent difference between the number of adolescents and adults reporting illicit drug use disorder, and even more surprising than that is the illicit drug use disorder is higher among adolescents than adults, but by less than a percent. Though less than 4% of adolescents and less than 4% of adults take opioids in Delaware, the overdose average is almost double that of the country as a whole. 

The Bottom Line

The high rates of substance abuse in Delaware are leading to some serious issues. The drug overdoses per 100,000 people in Delaware is 48.5, compared to the national average of only 27 per 100,000. The state has also experienced an increase in meth lab operations over the last few years. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of alcohol abusers, and less than 30 percent of illicit drug users get the help they need. 

Where to Find Help for Substance Use Disorder in Newark, DE

If you or a loved one is battling addiction, struggling with substance abuse, or looking for support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at American Treatment Network. To help in the fight against the growing substance abuse crisis in Delaware, we are opening a new recovery treatment clinic in Newark, Delaware in addition to our clinic in Havertown, PA. Making the decision to get help can be difficult, but we are dedicated to making the process easy.


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