Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1997. Employment and Work-Related Risk Factor 5. Adult Alcohol and Substance Abuse

10/01/1997

Adult alcohol and substance abuse is a risk factor for dependence.

Figure WORK 5. Percent of Adults who used Cocaine Marijuana or Alchohol, 1996

Figure WORK5. Percent of Adults who used Cocaine Marijuana or Alchohol, 1996

  • As shown in Table WORK 5, among adults age 18 to 34 cocaine use declined steadily from 1985 to 1994 but rose slightly from 1994 to 1996.
  • Table WORK 5 shows that in every age group since 1985 the percentages of persons reporting binge alcohol use were larger than the percentages for all other reported behaviors.
  • As shown in Table WORK 5, for the first time since 1988, marijuana use in 1996 was slightly more prevalent than heavy alcohol use among adults age 18 to 25. This was due to both increasing marijuana use and decreasing heavy alcohol use since 1992, a reversal of the prior trend.

Table WORK 5. Percent of Adults who used Cocaine, Marijuana or Alcohol, Selected Years

  1979 1982 1985 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996
Cocaine
Age 18 - 25 9.9 7.0 8.1 4.8 2.3 2.0 1.2 2.0
Age 26 - 34 3.0 3.5 6.3 2.8 1.9 1.5 1.3 1.5
Age 35 and Above 0.2 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.4
Marijuana
Age 18 - 25 35.6 27.2 21.7 15.3 12.7 10.9 12.1 13.2
Age 26 - 34 19.7 19.0 19.0 12.3 9.5 9.3 6.9 6.3
Age 35 and Above 2.9 3.9 2.6 1.8 2.4 2.0 2.3 2.0
Binge Alcohol Use
Age 18 - 25 NA NA 34.4 28.2 29.5 29.9 33.6 32.0
Age 26 - 34 NA NA 27.5 19.7 21.1 22.8 24.0 22.8
Age 35 and Above NA NA 12.9 9.7 8.0 9.0 11.8 11.3
Heavy Alcohol Use
Age 18 - 25 NA NA 13.8 12.0 14.9 15.1 13.2 12.9
Age 26 - 34 NA NA 11.5 7.1 8.2 8.5 8.0 7.1
Age 35 and Above NA NA 5.2 4.0 3.7 3.9 4.8 3.8

Note: Cocaine and marijuana use is defined as use during the past month. "Binge" Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days. "Occasion" means at the same time or within a couple hours of each other. Heavy Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days; all Heavy Alcohol Users are also "Binge" Alcohol Users. Data for 1996 are preliminary.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Preliminary Estimates, 1997.