The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released the results of the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). NSDUH, the Nation’s largest survey of drug use and drug-related attitudes, perceptions and consequences, interviews approximately 70,000 Americans who are 12 and older.
The resulting report displays national estimates on rates of use, numbers of users, and other measures related to illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco products, with a focus on trends between 2012 and 2013 and from 2002 to 2013.
Key findings of the 2013 NSDUH are as follows:
- In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, representing 9.4 percent of this population.
- Current illicit drug use in 2013 was statistically unchanged from 2012 (9.2 percent) but continues a gradual increase since 2002.
- Almost 20 million (4 out of 5 current illicit drug users) used marijuana alone or in combination with other drugs.
- Among current marijuana users, 8 million (2 out of 5) were daily or almost daily users, who used marijuana on 20 or more days in the past month.
- An estimated 2.8 million persons aged 12 or older used an illicit drug for the first time within the past 12 months – an average of about 7,800 new users per day.
- Most of the above new users (7 out of 10) reported that their first drug was marijuana. About 1 in 5 initiated with non-medical use of prescription drugs.
For complete findings, view 2013 NSDUH: Summary of National Findings.
Note: NSDUH national estimates related to mental health and NSDUH State-level estimates related to both substance use and mental health will be published in separate releases in the fall of 2014.