Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1998. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 5. Adult Alcohol and Substance Abuse

10/01/1998

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

Figure WORK 5. Percentage of Adults who used Cocaine, Marijana, or Alcohol, 1997

Figure WORK 5. Percentage of Adults who used Cocaine, Marijana, or Alcohol, 1997

Source: Table WORK 5.


  • In 1997, young adults (age 18 to 25) were more likely than other adults to report cocaine use, marijuana use, or alcohol abuse in the past month. One-eighth (13 percent) of adults 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month, compared with 6 percent of adults 26 to 34 and 3 percent of adults 35 and older. The age differences were less pronounced for cocaine use and alcohol abuse.
  • The percentages of persons reporting binge alcohol use were significantly larger than the percentages for all other reported behaviors, across all age groups and for all years with reports on alcohol use, as shown in Table WORK 5. In 1997, for example, about one-fourth of adults under 35 (28 percent for adults 18 to 25, and 23 percent for adults 26 to 34) reported drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion at least once within the past month.
  • As shown in Table WORK 5, marijuana use was more prevalent than heavy alcohol use among adults ages 18 to 25 in the most recent years (1996 and 1997), as had been the case in earlier years (1985 and 1988). In the intervening years, however, heavy alcohol use was more prevalent than marijuana use among this age group. The recent trend is a result of both increasing marijuana use and decreasing heavy alcohol use in the 1990s, a reversal of the prior trend.

Table WORK 5. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997

  1979 1985 1988 1991 1994 1996 1997

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 1997 are preliminary.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Preliminary Estimates, 1998.

Cocaine
Age 18 - 25 9.9 8.1 4.8 2.2 1.2 2.0 1.2
Age 26 - 34 3.0 6.3 2.8 1.9 1.3 1.5 0.9
Age 35 and Above 0.2 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.5
Marijuana
Age 18 - 25 35.6 21.7 15.3 12.9 12.1 13.2 12.8
Age 26 - 34 19.7 19.0 12.3 7.7 6.9 6.3 6.0
Age 35 and Above 2.9 2.6 1.8 2.6 2.3 2.0 2.6
Binge Alcohol Use
Age 18 - 25 NA 34.4 28.2 31.2 33.6 32.0 28.0
Age 26 - 34 NA 27.5 19.7 21.5 24.0 22.8 23.1
Age 35 and Above NA 12.9 9.7 10.1 11.8 11.3 11.7
Heavy Alcohol Use
Age 18 - 25 NA 13.8 12.0 15.2 13.2 12.9 11.1
Age 26 - 34 NA 11.5 7.1 7.9 8.0 7.1 7.5
Age 35 and Above NA 5.2 4.0 4.4 4.8 3.8 4.0

 

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