Fact or Fiction? Take the Drug Quiz!
Last Updated: Thursday March 9, 2023
Eight percent of people aged 12 or older have a substance use disorder.
Fiction – In 2021, 16.5 percent of people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Drug overdose deaths have more than doubled from 2011 to 2021.
Fact – Drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed from around 40,000 in 2011 to more than 106,000 in 2021, reported the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Deaths from drug poisoning involving cocaine have increased every year since 2013.
Fact – Deaths from drug poisoning involving have cocaine have surged from 4,944 in 2013 to 24,486 in 2021 (most recent data), according to DEA’s 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment and NIDA’s National Drug Overdose Deaths.
The following are effects of a heroin overdose: slow and shallow breathing, blue lips and fingernails, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and possible death.
Fact – Find out more about heroin and other drugs, including appearance, common street names, effects, and legal status by visiting the Drug Index.
Fentanyl is five times more potent than heroin and ten times more potent than morphine.
Fiction – Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Find out more about the #1 drug threat facing America by downloading the Fentanyl Drug Fact Sheet.
DEA lab testing reveals that six out of every ten fake pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose.
Fact – This figure rose from four in ten in 2021. Read more about fake pills and fentanyl in this DEA One Pill Can Kill flyer.
In 2020, marijuana use among adults aged 19-30 increased to all-time highs.
Fact – As of 2020, 42 percent of young adults used marijuana once or more in the previous 12 months, according to the 2020 Monitoring the Future Study Vol. 2.
States are increasingly passing legislation to legalize marijuana as the drug has been proven not to have adverse effects.
Fiction – While several states have legalized marijuana, the drug is still linked to mental health problems like anxiety and psychosis, can slow brain development, and is the substance most often found in the blood of drivers involved in and frequently responsible for car crashes. Watch a quick video fact check on marijuana here.
While national overdose deaths involving heroin are slumping, national overdose deaths involving stimulants (ex. cocaine) are sharply rising.
Fact – National overdose deaths involving heroin have dropped from around 15,500 in 2017 to 9,173 in 2021. But national overdose deaths involving stimulants have soared from around 5,000 in 2010 to 53,495 in 2021, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Use of stimulants in conjunction with fentanyl is responsible for much of the increase.
While adolescent alcohol use decreased between 2021 and 2022, levels of adolescent cannabis use and nicotine vaping spiked after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, remaining high into 2022.
Fiction – Adolescent alcohol use significantly increased between 2021 and 2022, reaching pre-pandemic levels. Conversely, levels of cannabis use and nicotine vaping went down after the onset of the pandemic, remaining relatively low into 2022, according to the 2022 Monitoring the Future Study Vol. 1.