Current Marijuana and Other Illegal Substance Use and Trends in the US

"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. Given that illicit drug use was less prevalent than the use of either tobacco or alcohol, the remainder of this report presents past year estimates of illicit drug use to allow presentation of estimates for low prevalence drugs, such as heroin. In contrast, the higher prevalence of tobacco and alcohol use makes it possible to present estimates not only for any past month use of these substances, but also for the intensity of their use in the past month (e.g., daily cigarette use, binge alcohol use)."


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