Holiday Drug Use Facts and Statistics

Studies Show Increase in Drug Use and Overdoses During the Holiday Season


The holidays bring many people enormous joy, but for some they can be overwhelming and stressful. Studies show that there are generally more drug overdoses and an increase in drug and alcohol use during the holidays.

The 2021 holiday season may be record-setting for drug overdoses as people continue to reel from the pandemic. As noted by Tampa Bay 10 News, the United States had a record number of overdose deaths from May 2020 to April 2021. During that time an estimated 100,000 people died from drug overdoses. An increase in supply of drugs like fentanyl as well as pandemic-related stresses and isolation likely fueled the increase in deaths. 

According to their reporting, the CDC states that December is the “most dangerous time of the year for drug and alcohol-related deaths.” Unfortunately, many people never receive the help that they need despite having a diagnosable problem. 

The holidays can be notoriously difficult to get through without relapsing if you are in sobriety. Many people who struggle with addiction can be triggered by the stresses of the holidays or may feel isolated if they don’t have a strong support system. 

Depression rates also rise during the holidays potentially causing more people to rely on drugs or alcohol. All of these factors combine and can have devastating results. It is unclear what this holiday season will bring, but if you suspect that yourself or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, there are options for treatment. 

It is never too early to seek professional help. An unhealthy relationship with alcohol or drugs can be exacerbated by the stresses of the holiday. Now is the time to get the help you or your loved one needs.