Drug Usage

Estimated prevalence and trends in use of various substances by young people and adults in the United States and worldwide.

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

Income and Relationship Status

(Income and Relationship Status) "Legal and illegal use of drugs was most strongly associated with age, sex, and income. Higher income was associated with a greater likelihood of drug use for all drug types examined, which is perhaps not surprising given that drug use requires disposable income. Relationship status was linked to illegal (but not legal) drug use: both cocaine and cannabis use were more likely among persons who had never been married or previously been married."

Positive Drug Tests Among Active Duty Soldiers in US Army

Positive Drug Tests Among Active Duty Soldiers in US Army: "Given that illicit drug use is inconsistent with Army Values, one would not expect the presence of multiple and serial drug offenders in the Army. Data for FY 2001 – FY 2009 indicate otherwise.76 Drug testing results reveal that of the total number of Soldiers tested, 3.5% (58,687 of 1,662,004) were positive for illicit drug use (see Table 7, page 50). That includes Soldiers who tested positive one, two or three or more times.

Decriminalization Reduces Problematic Drug Use

"The information we have presented adds to the current literature on the impacts of decriminalization. It disconfirms the hypothesis that decriminalization necessarily leads to increases in the most harmful forms of drug use. While small increases in drug use were reported by Portuguese adults, the regional context of this trend suggests that they were not produced solely by the 2001 decriminalization. We would argue that they are less important than the major reductions seen in opiate-related deaths and infections, as well as reductions in young people’s drug use.

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

In 2017, among people aged 12 and older in the United States:
An estimated 30,476,000 people were past-month users of any illicit drug.
An estimated 25,997,000 people were past-month users of marijuana or hashish.
An estimated 3,549,000 people were past-month users any opioid (including heroin and prescription pain relievers).
An estimated 2,167,000 people were past-month users of cocaine.
An estimated 61,072,000 people were past-month users of tobacco products.