Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2006. Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 6. Adult Alcohol and Substance Abuse

08/30/2006

Figure WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol, by Age: 2004

Figure WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol, by Age: 2004

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004.


  • In 2004, young adults (ages 18 to 25) were more likely than older adults to report alcohol abuse, marijuana use, or cocaine use in the past month. For example, about one in six (16 percent) adults 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month during 2004, compared with 8 percent of adults 26 to 34 and 3 percent of adults 35 and older.
  • The percentage of persons reporting binge alcohol use was significantly larger than the percentages for all other reported behaviors across all age groups, as shown in Table WORK 6.
  • The use of both cocaine and marijuana decreased between 2003 and 2004 among all adult age categories. Alcohol abuse showed less of a decline and actually increased slightly for adults ages 35 and over, as shown in Table WORK 6.

Table WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol by Age: 1999 - 2004

  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Cocaine
Ages 18-25 1.7 1.4 1.9 2.0 2.2 2.1
Ages 26-34 1.2 0.8 1.1 1.2 1.5 1.4
Ages 35 and over 0.4 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.5
Marijuana
Ages 18-25 14.2 13.6 16.0 17.3 17.0 16.1
Ages 26-34 5.4 5.9 6.8 7.7 8.4 8.3
Ages 35 and over 2.2 2.3 2.4 3.1 3.0 3.1
Binge Alcohol Use
Ages 18-25 37.9 37.8 38.7 40.9 41.6 41.2
Ages 26-34 29.3 30.3 30.1 33.1 32.9 32.2
Ages 35 and over 16.0 16.4 16.2 18.6 18.1 18.5
Heavy Alcohol Use
Ages 18-25 13.3 12.8 13.6 14.9 15.1 15.1
Ages 26-34 7.5 7.6 7.8 9.0 9.4 9.4
Ages 35 and over 4.2 4.1 4.2 5.2 5.1 5.3

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 refers to 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, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1999-2005.

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