Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2000. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 5. Adult Alcohol and Substance Abuse

03/01/2000

Figure WORK 5. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol: 1998

Figure WORK 5. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol: 1998

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


  • In 1998, young adults (ages 18 to 25) were more likely than other adults to report cocaine use, marijuana use, or alcohol abuse in the past month. Over one-eighth (13.8 percent) of adults 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month, compared with 5.5 percent of adults 26 to 34 and 2.5 percent of adults 35 and older. The age differences were somewhat 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.
  • As shown in Table WORK 5, use of marijuana and cocaine has decreased across all age groups over time. For example, reported cocaine use among adults ages 18 to 25 fell from 10 percent in 1979 to 2 percent in 1998; marijuana use fell from 36 percent to 14 percent over the same time period. Alcohol abuse, however, has remained relatively consistent over time for all age groups.

Table WORK 5. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol: Selected Years

  1979 1985 1988 1991 1994 1996 1997 1998
Cocaine                
Ages 18 - 25 9.9 8.1 4.8 2.2 1.2 2.0 1.2 2.0
Ages 26 - 34 3.0 6.3 2.8 1.9 1.3 1.5 0.9 1.2
Age 35 and over 0.2 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5
Marijuana                
Ages 18 - 25 35.6 21.7 15.3 12.9 12.1 13.2 12.8 13.8
Ages 26 - 34 19.7 19.0 12.3 7.7 6.9 6.3 6.0 5.5
Age 35 and Above 2.9 2.6 1.8 2.6 2.3 2.0 2.6 2.5
Binge Alcohol Use                
Ages 18 - 25 N/A 34.4 28.2 31.2 33.6 32.0 28.0 31.7
Ages 26 - 34 N/A 27.5 19.7 21.5 24.0 22.8 23.1 22.0
Age 35 and Above N/A 12.9 9.7 10.1 11.8 11.3 11.7 11.9
Heavy Alcohol Use                
Ages 18 - 25 N/A 13.8 12.0 15.2 13.2 12.9 11.1 13.8
Ages 26 - 34 N/A 11.5 7.1 7.9 8.0 7.1 7.5 7.2
Age 35 and Above N/A 5.2 4.0 4.4 4.8 3.8 4.0 4.4

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.

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

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