Drug Use Estimates: Prevalence and Trends

1. Prevalence of Illegal Drug Use in the US Among People Aged 12 or Older

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who were past year marijuana users increased from 11.0 percent (or 25.8 million people) in 2002 to 17.5 percent (or 48.2 million people) in 2019. Over this same period, the percentage who were past year cocaine users decreased
from 2.5 percent (or 5.9 million people) to 2.0 percent (or 5.5 million people).

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who were past year misusers of prescription pain relievers declined from 4.7 percent (or 12.5 million people) in 2015 to 3.5 percent (or 9.7 million people) in 2019.

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who were past year misusers of prescription benzodiazepines declined from 2.1 percent (or 5.5 million people) in 2015 to 1.8 percent (or 4.8 million people) in 2019. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the percentage who were past year misusers of prescription benzodiazepines declined from 5.2 percent (or 1.8 million people) in 2015 to 3.8 percent (or 1.3 million people) in 2019.

"• Among adults aged 26 or older, the percentage who were past year marijuana users increased from 7.0 percent (or 12.6 million people) in 2002 to 15.2 percent (or 33.0 million people) in 2019. The percentage who were past year hallucinogen users increased from 0.8 percent (or 1.7 million people) in 2015 to 1.5 percent (or 3.1 million people) in 2019. The percentage who were past year methamphetamine users increased from 0.5 percent (or 1.1 million people) in 2016 to 0.8 percent (or 1.7 million people) in 2019."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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2. Illegal Drug Use and Marijuana Use in Lifetime, Past Year, and Past Month in the US by Gender and Ethnicity

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which is conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, estimates that in 2016, 130,628,000 people in the US aged 12 and older had tried an illegal drug or marijuana in their lifetimes, of whom 48,501,000 had tried an illegal drug or marijuana in the previous year, of whom 28,564,000 had tried an illegal drug or marijuana in the previous month.
By comparison, in 2015, 130,610,000 people in the US aged 12 and older had tried an illegal drug or marijuana in their lifetimes, of whom 47,730,000 had tried an illegal drug in the previous year, of whom 27,080,000 had tried an illegal drug in the previous month.
Also according to the NSDUH, in 2016, 118,524,000 people in the US aged 12 or older had tried marijuana in their lifetimes, of whom 37,570,000 had tried marijuana in the previous year, of whom 28,564,000 had tried marijuana in the previous month.
By comparison, in 2015, 117,865,000 people in the US aged 12 or older had tried marijuana in their lifetimes, of whom 36,043,000 had tried marijuana in the previous year, of whom 22,226,000 had tried marijuana in the previous month.

Click here for the full table "Illegal Drug Use and Marijuana Use in Lifetime, Past Year, and Past Month Among Persons Aged 12 and Older in the US, by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender: Numbers in Thousands, 2015 and 2016.

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2017). 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD, p. 167, Table 1.1A; p. 169, Table 1.2A; p. 179, Table 1.7A; p. 185, Table 1.10A; p. 223, Table 1.29A; p. 225, Table 1.30A; p. 227, Table 1.31A; p. 229, Table 1.32A; p. 231, Table 1.33A; and p. 233, Table 1.34A.
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3. Current Marijuana and Other Substance Use and Trends in the US

"Among people aged 12 or older in 2019, 60.1 percent (or 165.4 million people) used a substance (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, kratom, or an illicit drug) in the past month. In particular, 50.8 percent (or 139.7 million people) drank alcohol in the past month, 21.1 percent (or 58.1 million people) used a tobacco product in the past month, and 13.0 percent (or 35.8 million people) used an illicit drug in the past month. In addition, 0.3 percent (or 825,000 people) used kratom in the past month."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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4. Federal Survey Definitions of Dependence, Abuse, and Drug Use Disorder

"Illicit drug use disorder is defined as meeting DSM-IV criteria for either dependence or abuse for one or more of the following illicit drugs: marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, methamphetamine, or prescription psychotherapeutic drugs that were misused (i.e., stimulants, tranquilizers or sedatives, and pain relievers).44 There are seven possible dependence criteria for specific illicit drugs:

"1. spent a lot of time engaging in activities related to use of the drug,
"2. used the drug in greater quantities or for a longer time than intended,
"3. developed tolerance to the drug,
"4. made unsuccessful attempts to cut down on use of the drug,
"5. continued to use the drug despite physical health or emotional problems associated with use,
"6. reduced or eliminated participation in other activities because of use of the drug, and
"7. experienced withdrawal symptoms when respondents cut back or stopped using the drug.

"For most illicit drugs, dependence is defined as meeting three or more of these seven criteria. However, experiencing withdrawal symptoms is not included as a criterion for some illicit drugs based on DSM-IV criteria. For these substances, dependence is defined as meeting three or more of the first six criteria.

"Respondents who used (or misused) a specific illicit drug in the past 12 months and did not meet the dependence criteria for that drug were defined as having abuse for that drug if they reported one or more of the following:

"1. problems at work, home, or school because of use of the drug;
"2. regularly using the drug and then doing something physically dangerous;
"3. repeated trouble with the law because of use of the drug; and
"4. continued use of the drug despite problems with family or friends."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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5. Estimated Number of Persons in the US with a Substance Use Disorder

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage with a past year substance use disorder (SUD) (i.e., alcohol use disorder, illicit drug use disorder, or both) remained stable between 2015 and 2019. Among the 20.4 million people aged 12 or older with a past year SUD in 2019, 71.1 percent (or 14.5 million people) had a past year alcohol use disorder, 40.7 percent (or 8.3 million people) had a past year illicit drug use disorder, and 11.8 percent (or 2.4 million people) had both an alcohol use disorder and an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage with a past year alcohol use disorder declined from 7.7 percent (or 18.1 million people) in 2002 to 5.3 percent (or 14.5 million people) in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage with a past year cocaine use disorder declined from 0.6 percent (or 1.5 million people) to 0.4 percent (or 1.0 million people).

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage with a past year prescription pain reliever use disorder decreased from 0.8 percent (or 2.0 million people) in 2015 to 0.5 percent (or 1.4 million people) in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage with a past year opioid use disorder also decreased from 0.9 percent (or 2.4 million people) to 0.6 percent (or 1.6 million people).

"• Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, the percentage with a past year marijuana use disorder declined from 4.3 percent (or 1.1 million people) in 2002 to 2.8 percent (or 699,000 people) in 2019. Among adults aged 26 or older, however, the percentage with a past year marijuana use disorder increased from 0.8 percent (or 1.4 million people) in 2002 to 1.0 percent (or 2.2 million people) in 2019.

"• Among adults aged 26 or older, the percentage with a past year methamphetamine use disorder increased from 0.3 percent (or 539,000 people) in 2016 to 0.4 percent (or 904,000 people) in 2019. The percentage with a past year prescription pain reliever use disorder decreased from 0.7 percent (or 1.5 million people) in 2015 to 0.5 percent (or 1.1 million people) in 2019."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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6. Estimated 30-Day Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs for Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined


Click here for complete datatable of Estimated 30-Day Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs for Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined in the US, 1998-2016

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2016: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 58-59, Table 3.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

7. Prevalence of Drug Use Worldwide

"It is estimated that in 2016 some 275 million people worldwide had used drugs at least once in the previous year (range: 204 million to 346 million). Corresponding to 5.6 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 years (range: 4.2 to 7.1 per cent), or approximately 1 of every 18 people. The actual number of people who use drugs increased by 20 million people from 2015 to 2016. This change is the consequence of an increase in the global number of cannabis users and, to a lesser extent, changes in the methodology used to produce this estimate.1 However, caution is required in interpreting trends because of the wide uncertainty intervals for the estimates."

World Drug Report 2018. United Nations publication, Sales No. E.18.XI.9.
https://www.unodc.org/wdr2018/
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8. Marijuana Use Prevalence and Trends Among Youth in the US

"• Figure 5-4a and Table 5-5d provide trends in daily marijuana use, defined as using marijuana on 20 or more occasions in the prior 30 days. Among 12th grade students, the 2019 level of 6.4% is the highest level recorded by the survey since 2013. About one in every 16 twelfth grade students in 2019 was a daily or near-daily marijuana user. Daily marijuana use significantly increased in 8th and 10th grade in 2019, to 1.3% and 4.8%, respectively.

"In context, the percentage of youth using marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis today is substantially lower than its peak in the late 1970s, when it reached a high of 10.7% among 12th grade students, or about one in every nine students. As discussed in Chapter 8, we think much of the decline from this peak is attributable to a very substantial increase in teens’ concerns about possible adverse effects from regular use and to a growing perception that peers disapproved of marijuana use, particularly regular use. In recent years teens have reported less concern about marijuana’s potential adverse effects and less disapproval of it (reported in Chapter 8), and daily use has risen considerably since the early 1990s.

"• Table 5-4 presents trend data on lifetime daily marijuana use for a month or more (this question is asked only of 12th grade students and on only one form). Prevalence in 2019 (15%) is between the high of 21% (set in 1982, when first measured by the survey) and the low of 8% (set in 1992, just before the 1990s drug relapse). Before 2011, prevalence hovered at around 16% since 1996, then rose in 2011 and 2012 along with current daily use, before declining some and then remaining stable in recent years. In a pattern seen with many other drugs, prevalence increased considerably during the 1990s relapse (from 1992 to 1997) having decreased considerably prior to the relapse.

"• Medical marijuana prescriptions for adolescents have been surveyed since 2017 and are rare. In all grades and in all years, fewer than 1.5% of adolescents reported that they had ever used marijuana because a doctor told them to do so.

"• Annual prevalence of synthetic marijuana has decreased dramatically since it was first tracked by Monitoring the Future in 2011 for 12th graders and 2012 for 8th and 10th graders (Table 5-5b and Figure 5-4b). For 12th graders, annual prevalence declined from 11.4% in 2011 to 3.3% in 2019, a drop of more than two-thirds. For 10th graders, annual prevalence declined from 8.8% in 2012 to 2.6% in 2019. For 8th graders the decline was from 4.4% in 2012 to 2.12 in 2019.

"The current 2.7% level in 8th grade reflects a significant 1.1 percentage point increase in 2019, which is concerning. It may be that 8th graders are confusing synthetic marijuana with marijuana vaping, which increased significantly in 2019 (discussed below). This could explain the unusual finding of a slightly higher prevalence among 8th as compared to 10th grade students."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

9. Estimated Prevalence of Past-Month Substance Use in US by People Aged 12 and Older

In 2019, among people aged 12 and older in the United States:
An estimated 35,803,000 people were past-month users of any illicit drug.
An estimated 31,606,000 people were past-month users of marijuana or hashish.
An estimated 3,101,000 people were past-month users any opioid (including heroin and prescription pain relievers).
An estimated 1,998,000 people were past-month users of cocaine.
An estimated 58,074,000 people were past-month users of tobacco products.
An estimated 139,727,000 people were past-month alcohol users, of whom 65,845,000 were "binge drinkers" (binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks (for males) or four or more drinks (for females) on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days), of whom 16,044,000 were "heavy" alcohol users (heavy alcohol use is defined as binge drinking on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days).

Click here for complete datatable of Estimated Prevalence of Past-Month Substance Use in US by Those Aged 12 and Older (Numbers In Thousands)

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2020). Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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10. Marijuana Legalization May Lead To Decreased Use By Young People

"Consistent with the results of previous researchers,2 there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the Table showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with findings by Dilley et al4 and with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.6"

Anderson DM, Hansen B, Rees DI, Sabia JJ. Association of Marijuana Laws With Teen Marijuana Use: New Estimates From the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. JAMA Pediatr. Published online July 08, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1720
https://jamanetwork.com/journa...

11. Prevalence of Substance Use Among Young People in the US by Race/Ethnicity

"For a number of years, 12th grade African-American students reported lifetime, annual, 30-day, and daily prevalence levels for nearly all drugs that were lower – sometimes dramatically so – than those for White or Hispanic 12th graders. That is less true today, with levels of drug use among African Americans more similar to the other groups. This narrowing of the gap between African Americans and other two racial/ethnic groups is also seen in 8th and 10th grade, indicating that this narrowing in 12th grade is almost certainly not due primarily to differential dropout rates.

"• Whites have the lowest levels of annual marijuana use in 8th grade, at 8% compared to 11.6% and 14.3% for African American and Hispanic students, respectively. In 10th and 12th grade annual marijuana use differs little by race/ethnicity.

"• A number of drugs are much less popular among African-American teens than among White teens, particularly at the higher grades. These include nicotine vaping, marijuana vaping, use of hallucinogens, nonmedical use of sedatives (barbiturates), tranquilizers, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), nonmedical use of amphetamines, narcotics other than heroin, cocaine, and cocaine other than crack.

"• By 12th grade, White students have the highest lifetime and annual prevalence levels among the three major racial/ethnic groups for many substances, including alcohol use, being drunk, vaping nicotine, vaping marijuana, LSD, hallucinogens other than LSD, MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), and nonmedical use of narcotics other than heroin, amphetamines, and tranquilizers. Not all of these findings are replicated at lower grade levels, however. See Tables 4-5 and 4-6 for specifics.

"• Hispanics in 2019 had the highest annual prevalence at all three grade levels for synthetic marijuana, cocaine, crack, and cocaine other than crack. It bears repeating that Hispanics have a considerably higher dropout rate than Whites or African Americans, based on Census Bureau statistics, which should tend to diminish any such differences by 12th grade, yet there remain sizeable differences even in the upper grades.

"• In 8th grade – before most dropping out occurs – Hispanics had the highest levels of use of almost all substances, whereas by 12th grade Whites have the highest levels of use of most. Certainly the considerably higher dropout rate among Hispanics could help explain this shift. Another explanation worth consideration is that Hispanics may tend to start using drugs at a younger age, but Whites overtake them at older ages. These explanations are not mutually exclusive, of course, and to some degree both explanations may hold true.

"• Table 4-8 shows that White students have by far the highest prevalence of daily cigarette smoking while African American and Hispanic students are fairly close to each other among all three grades, for example, 12th grade Whites have a 3.5% daily smoking prevalence, Hispanics, 1.9%, and African Americans, 1.8%.

"• Thirty-day prevalence of smokeless tobacco use is highest among White students in 10th and 12th grade. The difference is quite pronounced in 12th grade, with prevalence rates of 5.6% for White students versus 1.5% for Hispanic and 1.3% for African American students.

"• African-American students have the lowest 30-day prevalence for alcohol use in all three grades. They also have the lowest prevalence for self-reports of having been drunk during the prior 30 days. The differences are largest at 12th grade, with 22% of Whites reporting having been drunk, 12% of Hispanics, and 11% of African Americans.

"• Recent binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a row during the prior two weeks) is also lowest among African Americans in all three grades; in 12th grade, their level of use is 6.7% versus 18% for Whites and 11% for Hispanics. The corresponding prevalence levels for 10th grade are 4.2% for African Americans vs. 9.7% for Whites and 9.3% for Hispanics. In 8th grade, Hispanics have the highest prevalence at 5.3% compared to 3.4% for Whites and 1.9% for African Americans.

"• Hispanic students have markedly lower levels of use for drugs used to treat ADHD than do White and African American students. In 2019 prevalence of use for either stimulant or non-stimulant prescription ADHD drugs was 5.5% among Hispanic students as compared to 12% for White students and 15% for African American students. Use of either of these drugs in the past 30 days is also much lower for Hispanic students, who have a prevalence level of 1.9% as compared to 5.8% for White students and 5.0% for African American students. As to why Hispanic students are less likely to be treated with ADHD drugs than White and African American students, possible contributing factors include Hispanic families being less likely to get access to, or be able to afford, professional assessment and treatment.

"• Levels of past-year use for diet pills did not differ much by race/ethnicity in 2019. They varied between a narrow range of 1.5% for Hispanic students and 2.5% for African American students, with White students in the middle at 2.0%."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

12. Estimated Age of Initiation of Substance Use By People in the US Aged 12 Or Older

"The illicit drugs with the largest number of recent initiates in 2016 were marijuana (2.6 million new users), prescription pain relievers (2.1 million new misusers), prescription tranquilizers (1.4 million new misusers), prescription stimulants (1.4 million new misusers), hallucinogens (1.2 million new users), and cocaine (1.1 million new users). In addition, there were 4.6 million new users of alcohol, 1.8 million people who tried a cigarette for the first time in the past year, and 1.2 million people who first used smokeless tobacco in the past year.34
"Figure 12 provides an overview of the average age at first use (or first misuse for prescription drugs) in 2016 among recent initiates aged 12 to 49. For many substances, the average age at initiation in 2016 was younger than age 20, with average ages of 17.4 years for alcohol, 18.0 years for cigarettes, 18.2 years for inhalants, 19.3 years for marijuana, and 19.6 years for any hallucinogen. However, some substances had older average initiation ages, such as methamphetamine (24.6 years) and heroin (25.5 years). The average ages at initiation for prescription drug misuse were in the early to mid-20s (23.9 years for prescription tranquilizers, 24.3 years for prescription stimulants, 24.4 years for prescription pain relievers, and 24.8 years for prescription sedatives)."

Lipari, R. N., Ahrnsbrak, R. D., Pemberton, M. R., & Porter, J. D. (2017, September). Risk and protective factors and estimates of substance use initiation: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. NSDUH Data Review, pp. 10-11. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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13. Perceived Risk and Prevalence of Crack Use and Among Young People in the US

"Crack cocaine use spread rapidly from the early to mid-1980s. Still, among 12th graders, the use of crack remained relatively low during this period (3.9% annual prevalence in 1987). Clearly, crack had quickly attained a reputation as a dangerous drug, and by the time of our first measurement of perceived risk in 1987, it was seen as the most dangerous of all drugs. Annual prevalence dropped sharply in the next few years, reaching 1.5% by 1991, where it remained through 1993. Perceived risk began a long and substantial decline after 1990 – again serving as a driver and leading indicator of use. (The decline in perceived risk in this period may well reflect generational forgetting of the dangers of this drug.)

"Annual prevalence among 12th graders rose gradually after 1993, from 1.5% to 2.7% by 1999. It finally declined slightly in 2000 and then held level through 2007. Since then, some additional decline has occurred. In 2016, annual prevalence for crack cocaine was at 0.8%.

"Among 8th and 10th graders, crack use rose gradually in the 1990s: from 0.7% in 1991 to 2.1% by 1998 among 8th graders, and from 0.9% in 1992 to 2.5% in 1998 among 10th graders. And, as just discussed, use among 12th graders peaked in 1999 at 2.7% and among young adults at 1.4%. Since those peak years, crack use has declined appreciably -- more than half among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders -- yet it held fairly steady among college students and young adults, at least until 2007, when use among college students finally began to decline. The 2016 prevalence levels for this drug were relatively low – less than 1% in all five groups. Twelfth graders had the highest prevalence. Annual crack prevalence among the college-bound has generally been considerably lower than among those not bound for college. Among 12th graders, the levels of use in 2016 were 0.7% for college-bound and 1.2% for noncollege-bound.

"We believe that the particularly intense and early media coverage of the hazards of crack cocaine likely had the effect of capping an epidemic early by deterring many would-be users and motivating many experimenters to desist use. As has been mentioned, when we first measured crack use in 1987, it had the highest level of perceived risk of any illicit drug. Also, it did not turn out to be “instantly addicting” upon first-time use, as had been widely reported. In some earlier years, 1994 and 1995 for example, 3% of 12th graders reported ever trying crack; however, only about 2% used in the prior 12 months and only about 1.0% used in the prior 30 days. It thus appears that, among the small numbers of 12th graders who have ever tried crack, the majority of those who tried it did not establish a pattern of continued use, let alone develop an addiction."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2016: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 20-21. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

14. Estimated Prevalence of Current Illegal Drug Use In The US By People Aged 12 Or Older

"In 2018, an estimated 164.8 million people aged 12 or older used a substance (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, or an illicit drug) in the past month (Figure 1). This number of current substance users corresponds to 60.2 percent of the population. About 2 out of 5 people aged 12 or older (108.9 million, or 39.8 percent) did not use substances in the past month.

"The 164.8 million current substance users in 2018 include 139.8 million people who drank alcohol, 58.8 million people who used a tobacco product, and 31.9 million people who used an illicit drug (2018 DT 7.3). These numbers are not mutually exclusive because respondents could have used more than one type of substance (e.g., tobacco products and alcohol) in the past month.

"Although about half of the people aged 12 or older (51.1 percent) drank alcohol in the past month and 1 in 5 (21.5 percent) used a tobacco product, use of illicit drugs was less common (Table A.1B). About 1 in 9 people aged 12 or older (11.7 percent) used an illicit drug in the past month."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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15. Estimated Prevalence of Substance Use Dependence or Addiction in the US by Race/Ethnicity, According to NSDUH

"In 2015, approximately 20.8 million people aged 12 or older had an SUD in the past year, including 15.7 million people who had an alcohol use disorder and 7.7 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder (Figure 27). An estimated 2.7 million people aged 12 or older had both an alcohol use disorder and an illicit drug use disorder in the past year (Figure 28). Thus, among people aged 12 or older in 2015 who had an SUD in the past year, nearly 3 out of 4 had an alcohol use disorder, and about 1 out of 3 had an illicit drug use disorder. About 1 in 8 people aged 12 or older who had SUDs in the past year had both an alcohol use disorder and an illicit drug use disorder.

"Of the 7.7 million people aged 12 or older who had a past year SUD related to their use of illicit drugs, 4.0 million had a past year disorder related to their use of marijuana, and 2.0 million people had a disorder related to their misuse of prescription pain relievers (Figure 27). Smaller numbers of people in 2015 had disorders in the past year related to their use of cocaine or heroin.

"The 20.8 million people who had SUDs in 2015 (Figure 27) represent 7.8 percent of people aged 12 or older (Figure 29). This percentage of people in 2015 who had SUDs corresponds to about 1 in 13 people aged 12 or older. An estimated 1.2 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 had SUDs in 2015, which represents 5.0 percent of adolescents, or about 1 in 20 adolescents. In 2015, 5.3 million young adults aged 18 to 25 had SUDs; this number of young adults with SUDs represents 15.3 percent of young adults, or about 1 in 7 young adults. An estimated 14.2 million adults aged 26 or older in 2015 had SUDs, which represents 6.9 percent of adults aged 26 or older, or about 1 in 15 adults in this age group."

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), pp. 21-22. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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16. Estimated Prevalence of Crack and Cocaine Use by Young People in the US

"Crack, a form of cocaine that comes in small chunks or 'rocks,' can be smoked to produce a rapid and intense but short-lasting high. In 2015 it had lifetime prevalence levels of under 2% in all three grade levels: 1.0% for 8th, 1.1% for 10th, and 1.7% for 12th graders.
"Of all students reporting any cocaine use in their lifetime, significant proportions have some experience with crack: Nearly two thirds of 8th-grade cocaine users (63%), two fifths of 10th-grade users (41%) and more than two fifths of 12th-grade users (43%) reported having used crack (data derivable from Table 4-1)."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2016). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2015: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Page 93. Available at
http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

17. Prevalence of Current Alcohol Use In The US, 2015

"In 2015, 138.3 million Americans aged 12 or older reported current use of alcohol, 66.7 million reported binge alcohol use in the past month, and 17.3 million reported heavy alcohol use in the past month (Figure 21). Thus, nearly half of current alcohol users reported binge alcohol use (48.2 percent), and about 1 in 8 current alcohol users reported heavy alcohol use (12.5 percent). Among binge alcohol users, about 1 in 4 (26.0 percent) were heavy users.
"Current Alcohol Use
"The estimate of 138.3 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2015 (Figure 21) corresponds to alcohol use in the past month by slightly more than half (51.7 percent) of people aged 12 or older (Figure 22). The 2015 estimate of past month alcohol use was similar to the estimate in 2005 to 2013, but it was lower than the 2014 estimate."

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), p. 18. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/si...
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/si...

18. Prevalence of Marijuana Use among People in the US Aged 12 or Older

In 2015:
an estimated 117,865,000 people aged 12 or older in the US had tried marijuana at least once in their lifetimes.
an estimated 36,043,000 people aged 12 or older in the US had tried marijuana at least once in the past year.
an estimated 22,226,000 people aged 12 or older in the US had tried marijuana at least once in the past month.

Click here for the complete datatable "Marijuana Use in Lifetime, Past Year, and Past Month among Persons in the US Aged 12 or Older, by Demographic Characteristics: Number in Thousands"

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD, p. 242, Table 1.33A.
https://www.samhsa.gov...
https://www.samhsa.gov...

19. Alcohol Use Among African-Americans In The US, 2002-2008

"Past month alcohol use, binge alcohol use, and illicit drug use remained relatively stable among black adults between 2002 and 2008 (Figure1).4,5
"Combined 2004 to 2008 data indicate that, in the past month, 44.3 percent of black adults used alcohol, 21.7 percent reported binge alcohol use, and 9.5 percent used an illicit drug (Figure 2).
"Rates of past month alcohol use and binge alcohol use were lower among black adults than the national averages. The rate of past month illicit drug use among black adults, however, was higher than the national average.
"Rates of past month and binge alcohol use were considerably lower among young black adults than the national average of young adults (48.6 vs. 61.1 percent and 25.3 vs. 41.6 percent, respectively) (Figure 3). Past month illicit drug use among young black adults was slightly lower than the national average (18.7 vs. 19.7 percent).
"Older black adults had a rate of past month alcohol use that was considerably lower than the national average of older adults (20.3 vs. 38.3 percent) (Figure 4). Their rates of binge alcohol use and past month illicit drug use, however, did not differ significantly from the national averages.
"Compared with the national averages, adult black females had lower rates of past month alcohol use and binge alcohol use and a slightly higher rate of past month illicit drug use (Table 1).
"Compared with the national averages, adult black males had lower rates of past month alcohol use and binge alcohol use and a slightly higher rate of past month illicit drug use (Table 2)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (February 18, 2010). "The NSDUH Report: Substance Use among Black Adults." Rockville, MD, pp. 3-5.
http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k10/174...

20. Substance Use by Hispanic Youth in the US

"Fifty-two percent of Hispanic youth report using illicit drugs in the past year (vs. 42 percent for African-American youth and 40 percent for Caucasian teens). They are also more likely than other teens to have used prescription medicine, Ecstasy or cocaine/crack to get high.
"Marijuana use levels are of significant concern among Hispanic youth. Half of Hispanic teens report smoking marijuana in the past year (43 percent more than Caucasian teens and 25 percent more than African-American youth)."

"The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study: 2011 Parents and Teens Full Report," MetLife Foundation and The Partnership at Drugfree.org (New York, NY: May 2, 2012), p. 8.
http://www.drugfree.org/wp-con...

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