1. More than two-thirds of American families have been touched by addiction.
  2. 23 million Americans have found and sustained their own recovery, but more than 20 million others have not. There are 23.5 million Americans currently living in recovery. 
  3. Public wreckage of addiction is about $350 billion dollars a year, which includes loss productivity in the workplace, increased health care costs and criminal justice expenses. 98% of these costs go to cleaning up the mess created by addiction, while only 2% go to preventing it or treating it like a health problem.
  4. Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith co-founded the first 12 step recovery program in 1935 and called it Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The newly formed organization published the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” in 1939, which told the stories of more than 100 men and women who recovered from alcoholism. In 2012, the Library of Congress named the book one of the 88 books that shaped America.
  5. Today, AA has a membership of over 2 million people worldwide.
  6. The 1980s was the most intense period of criminalization for addiction in American history. It was thought that America could incarcerate its way out of the addiction problem.
  7. Due to this, drug offenders have made up 80% of the overall increase in the U.S. Federal Prison population since 1985. The logic was to use these sentencing laws to get the “drug king pins,” but it didn’t work.
  8. In 2011, there were 6.9 million people under correctional supervision, about 80% have a drug or alcohol problem.
  9. 1 in 3 teenagers in America meet the medical criteria for addiction and only 1 out of every 70 will be going to rehab.
  10. There are only 16 states with recovery high schools and only 20 states with college recovery programs.