Prevalence of Illegal Drug Use in the US Among People Aged 12 or Older
"In 2015, 27.1 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the past 30 days, which corresponds to about 1 in 10 Americans (10.1 percent). The illicit drug use estimate for 2015 continues to be driven primarily by marijuana use and the misuse of prescription pain relievers, with 22.2 million current marijuana users aged 12 or older (i.e., users in the past 30 days) and 3.8 million people aged 12 or older who reported current misuse of prescription pain relievers. The 2015 estimate of current marijuana users was similar to the estimate in 2014, but it was higher than the estimates from 2002 to 2013. This increase in marijuana use among people aged 12 or older reflects the increase in marijuana use by adults aged 26 or older and, to a lesser extent, the increase in marijuana use among young adults aged 18 to 25.
"In 2015, NSDUH adopted a revised definition of prescription drug misuse, which defined misuse as use in any way not directed by a doctor, including use without a prescription of one’s own; use in greater amounts, more often, or longer than told to take a drug; or use in any other way not directed by a doctor. The estimated 3.8 million people aged 12 or older who were current misusers of pain relievers represent 1.4 percent of the population aged 12 or older.
"The estimate of current heroin use in 2015 among people aged 12 or older was higher than the estimates in most years between 2002 and 2009, but it was similar to the estimates between 2010 and 2014. Current cocaine use in 2015 was similar to the estimates in most years between 2007 and 2013, but it was higher than the estimate in 2014. The 2015 estimate of crack use was similar to the estimates in most years from 2008 to 2014. There were new baselines in 2015 for hallucinogen, inhalant, and methamphetamine use (0.5, 0.2, and 0.3 percent, respectively, for current use among people aged 12 or older)."
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Page 1. Retrieved from