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The Problem

The following data was published on the United States Department of Health & Human Services ( website FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 4, 2023

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Results Detailing Mental Illness and Substance Use Levels in 2021. The following data was gathered by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse / Mental Health Services Administration), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Drug Use and Substance Use Disorder

  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 61.2 million people (or 21.9 percent of the population) used illicit drugs in the past year. 

  • 9.2 million people 12 and older misused opioids in the past year.

  • 46.3 million people aged 12 or older (or 16.5 percent of the population) met the applicable DSM-5 criteria for having a substance use disorder in the past year, including 29.5 million people who were classified as having an alcohol use disorder and 24 million people who were classified as having a drug use disorder.

    • The percentage of people who were classified as having a past year substance use disorder, including alcohol use and/or drug use disorder, was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 compared to youth and adults 26 and older.

  • In 2021, 94% of people aged 12 or older with a substance use disorder did not receive treatment.

Major Depressive Episodes (MDE) Among Adolescents

  • In 2021, 1 in 5 adolescents had a major depressive episode in the past year. Nearly 75 percent had symptoms consistent with severe impairment, which caused severe problems with their ability to do chores at home, do well at work or school, get along with their family, or have a social life.​

    • More than half of youth with an MDE did not receive treatment in the year 2021..

Mental Illness among Adults

  • Nearly 1 in 4 adults 18 and older, and 1 in 3 among adults aged 18 to 25, had a mental illness in the past year.

  • Adults with serious mental illness had higher rates of treatment compared to those with any mental illness.  Despite having the highest rate of serious mental illness, people aged 18 to 25 had the lowest rate of treatment in comparison to adults in other age groups.

  • White and Multiracial adults were more likely to receive mental health services in the past year than Black, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian adults.

Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder with Any Mental Illness

  • 13.5 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 had both a substance use disorder and any mental illness in the past year.

  • Nearly 1 in 3 adults had either a substance use disorder or any mental illness in the past year, and 46 percent of young adults 18-25 had either a substance use disorder or any mental illness.

  • The percentage of adults aged 18 or older who met criteria for both a mental illness and a substance use disorder in the past year was higher among Multiracial adults than among White, Black, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian adults. Asian adults were less likely to have had both AMI and a substance use disorder in the past year compared with adults in most other racial or ethnic groups.

Serious Thoughts of Suicide, Suicide Plans, and Suicide Attempts

  • 12.3 million adults aged 18 or older had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, 3.5 million made suicide plans, and 1.7 million attempted suicide.

  • Hispanic or Latino adults were more likely than White or Asian adults to have attempted suicide in the past year, and Black adults were more likely than Asian adults to have they attempted to suicide in the past year.


  • 7 in 10 (72.2 percent or 20.9 million) adults who ever had a substance use problem considered themselves to be recovering or in recovery.

  • 2 in 3 (66.5 percent or 38.8 million) adults who ever had a mental health issue considered themselves to be recovering or in recovery.

The Solution


The "Formerly Intoxicated Recovery Tour" is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at reshaping the narrative surrounding addiction, mental health struggles, and recovery. This tour isn't just about music; it's a movement leveraging the power of music, storytelling, and education to prevent mental illness and addiction while fostering a supportive community for those in recovery.

This tour brings together renowned musicians who have battled their own demons with addiction and mental health challenges, standing proudly as "formerly intoxicated" individuals. These artists share their personal journeys through music, using their platform to destigmatize these issues and spread awareness about the path to recovery.

The heart of this tour lies in its multifaceted approach:


Concerts with a Purpose

Each concert is more than just a performance; it's an immersive experience. Alongside incredible music, these events feature interactive sessions where artists share their stories of struggle, survival, and eventual triumph over addiction and mental health obstacles. Audience engagement is key, with opportunities for Q&A sessions and open discussions, creating a safe space for attendees to share their own experiences and seek guidance.

Education and Resources

Partnering with mental health professionals, the tour provides accessible resources, including informational booths and counseling services. Workshops and seminars conducted by experts offer practical advice on coping mechanisms, early intervention strategies, and avenues for seeking help. These resources aim to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate their personal journeys toward recovery.

Community Building and Support Networks

The tour isn't a one-time event; it's the foundation for a lasting community. Online forums, local support groups, and social media platforms connect attendees long after the concerts end. These networks foster a sense of belonging, ensuring that individuals in recovery have ongoing support and encouragement from their peers and mentors.

Advocacy and Policy Change

The "Formerly Intoxicated Recovery Tour" doesn't stop at the stage; it advocates for policy changes and improved accessibility to mental health and addiction treatment. Collaborating with lawmakers, the tour strives to influence legislation that promotes better access to affordable, quality care for those in need.

By combining the universality of music with the deeply personal narratives of recovery, this tour aims to spark conversations, break down barriers, and inspire hope. It's not just a series of concerts; it's a movement that celebrates resilience, spreads awareness, and helps pave the way toward a society that embraces and supports individuals on their journey to recovery from addiction and mental health challenges.

Blake Mathews Square Portrait  (1).png

Hey, I'm Blake

I write and record songs for people in recovery; my family and I are on a mission to prevent mental illness and addiction through music. Please keep reading if you're interested; I'd love to share our work... ⬇️

Long Story Short:

Matthew Baratz, professionally known as Blake Mathews, is a sober artist, writer, and producer from Phoenix, Arizona. “As someone who is overcoming bipolar and addiction, I hope I can help you in the same way my favorite artists helped me,” says Blake. "Music saves lives... I speak from experience."


In the past year, our songs and lyrics have been used to impact hundreds of recovering individuals in residential treatment facilities, intensive out-patient programs, and the general Southwest recovery community. Rather than solely performing at shows or venues, our family shares experience, strength and hope in the form of music and mindful creativity workshops. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. In 2019, I attended an inpatient program called Integrative Life Center on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee. To say the least, it changed my life… Upon finishing the program, my Higher Power gifted me with an inner-calling of writing music for people like us. Magnificent healing takes place within the walls of our partnering facilities. My dream is to tour these songs nationwide. There are thousands of treatment facilities all over the country and world... The members of these programs need this music. I've witnessed these songs and lyrics change lives... and we will continue to do so. I hope you'll consider joining us as a partnering facility or supporter of our mission to prevent mental illness and addiction through music. Thank you - Blake.


The Tour:

We are actively seeking to partner with treatment centers, recovery programs, venues, festivals and anyone that is interested in preventing mental illness through the power of music, fashion and visual art in 2024 ∞


Let's make an impact together.


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