Performance Improvement 2010. Measure Drug Use and Treatment


The annual Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2008 provided estimates of the national rates of use, numbers of users and persons meeting criteria for substance use and disorders.  The study presented results for measures of mental health problems, including serious mental illness and major depressive episode, as well as data on the co-occurrence of substance use disorders and mental health problems.  In 2008, an estimated 20.1 million Americans aged 12 and older were illicit drug users, the same rate as in 2007 and similar to that in 2002-2006.  Among youths aged 12 to 17, 9.3 percent were current illicit drug users, down from the rate in 2002 but statistically unchanged from 2007.  Marijuana use among youths aged 12-17 declined from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2008.  In 2008, 129 million persons aged 12 or older (51.6 percent) were current alcohol users, and 58.1 million (23.3 percent) engaged in binge drinking (five or more drinks on the same occasion) at least once in the past month.  Underage (ages 12-20) drinking declined from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 26.4 percent in 2008. (9253)

SAMHSA conducted similar surveys in 2006 and 2007.  During that period, use of illicit drugs among persons aged 12 or older ranged from 5.2 percent in Iowa to 12.5 percent in Rhode Island.  The percentage of persons aged 12 or older using an illicit drug had increased from the period between 2005-2006 in Arizona, Kentucky, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Decreases were observed in Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  Iowa had the lowest rate of marijuana use among persons age 12 or older (3.8 percent); Rhode Island had the highest (10.3 percent).  Utah had the lowest rate of binge drinking of alcohol (13.3 percent) among those 12 to 20 and North Dakota had the highest (29.5 percent).  The percentage of persons with a substance use disorder (i.e., dependent on, or abuse of, illicit drugs or alcohol) ranged from 7.5 percent in New Jersey to 12.6 percent in the District of Columbia.  Hawaii had the lowest rate of adults aged 18 or older who experienced a major depressive episode in the past year (5.0 percent) while Tennessee had the highest rate (9.8 percent). (9259)

Between 1997 and 2007 a SAMHSA study found that treatment program admissions were dominated by five substances: alcohol, opiates (primarily heroin), marijuana, cocaine, and stimulants (primarily methamphetamine).  These substances together consistently accounted for between 95 and 96 percent of all admissions.  The age distribution of admissions changed between 1996 and 2006.  The proportion of admissions aged 25 to 34 years declined from 32 percent in 1997 to 26 percent in 2007.  This decline was offset by increases in the proportions of older and younger admissions.  The proportion of those aged 45 and older increased from 14 percent in 1997 to 23 percent in 2007.  The proportion of admissions among those less than 25 years of age increased from 22 percent in 1997 to 26 percent in 2007.  (9267

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