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Substance Abuse

Alcohol or illicit drug use, adolescents, 2002–2011

Decrease desired

SA-13.1 line graph

Objective SA-13.1 View Leading Health Indicators

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.
NOTE: Data are for the proportion of adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported using at least one of the following substances in the past 30 days: alcohol, marijuana or hashish, cocaine (including "crack"), inhalants, hallucinogens (including PCP and LSD), heroin, or any nonmedical use of analgesics, tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives.

Over the past decade, the proportion of adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported using alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days decreased 23.6% between 2002 and 2011, from 22.2% to 18.0%.


Alcohol or illicit drug use, adolescents, 2008 and 2011

Decrease desired

SA-13.1 race graph

Objective SA-13.1 View Leading Health Indicators

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.
NOTES: Data are for the proportion of adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported using at least one of the following substances in the past 30 days: alcohol, marijuana or hashish, cocaine (including "crack"), inhalants, hallucinogens (including PCP and LSD), heroin, or any nonmedical use of analgesics, tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives. Respondents were asked to select one or more races. The single-race categories are for persons who reported only one racial group. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
I = 95% confidence interval.

There was no significant change between 2008 (18.4%) and 2011 (18.0%) in the proportion of adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported using alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days. Rates of alcohol or illicit drug use varied by race and ethnicity. For example, in 2011, 10.3% of Asian adolescents aged 12–17 years reported using alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days, compared with:

  • 17.2% of non-Hispanic black adolescents; more than one and a half times the rate of alcohol or illicit drug use among Asian adolescents.
  • 17.9% of Hispanic adolescents; more than one and a half times the rate among Asian adolescents.
  • 18.4% of non-Hispanic white adolescents; nearly twice the rate among Asian adolescents.
  • 20.2% of American Indian or Alaska Native adolescents; approximately twice the rate among Asian adolescents.
  • 25.1% of adolescents of two or more races; almost two and a half times the rate among Asian adolescents.

Alcohol or illicit drug use, adolescents, 2008 and 2011

Decrease desired

SA-13.1 age and country graph

Objective SA-13.1 View Leading Health Indicators

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.
NOTE: Data are for the proportion of adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported using at least one of the following substances in the past 30 days: alcohol, marijuana or hashish, cocaine (including "crack"), inhalants, hallucinogens (including PCP and LSD), heroin, or any nonmedical use of analgesics, tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives.
I = 95% confidence interval.

There was no significant change between 2008 (18.4%) and 2011 (18.0%) in the proportion of adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported using alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days. Rates of alcohol or illicit drug use varied by age and whether adolescents were born in or outside the United States. For example, in 2011:

  • 5.1% of adolescents aged 12–13 years reported using alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days, compared with: 16.0% of adolescents aged 14–15 years, more than three times the rate of alcohol or illicit drug use among adolescents aged 12–13 years; and 31.8% of adolescents aged 16–17 years, more than six times the rate among adolescents aged 12–13 years.
  • 18.3% of adolescents aged 12–17 who were born in the U.S. reported using alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days, nearly one and a half times the rate of alcohol or illicit drug use among those who were born outside the U.S., 13.7%.

Binge drinking, adults, 2008 and 2011

Decrease desired

SA-14.3 race graph

Objective SA-14.3 View Leading Health Indicators

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.
NOTES: Data are for the proportion of adults aged 18 and over who reported having 5 or more drinks (for men) or 4 or more drinks (for women) at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other during the past 30 days. Respondents were asked to select one or more races. The single-race categories are for persons who reported only one racial group. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
I = 95% confidence interval.

There was no significant change between 2008 (27.1%) and 2011 (26.7%) in the proportion of adults aged 18 and over who reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking rates varied by race and ethnicity. For example, in 2011, 14.1% of Asian adults reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, compared with:

  • 22.8% of non-Hispanic black adults; over one and a half times the binge drinking rate for Asian adults.
  • 24.5% of adults of two or more races; over one and a half times the rate for Asian adults.
  • 28.0% of non-Hispanic white adults; about twice the rate for Asian adults.
  • 28.4% of Hispanic adults; about twice the rate for Asian adults.
  • 28.8% of American Indian or Alaska Native adults; about twice the rate for Asian adults.

Binge drinking, adults, 2008 and 2011

Decrease desired

SA-14.3 sex and demographic graph

Objective SA-14.3 View Leading Health Indicators

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.
NOTE: Data are for the proportion of adults aged 18 and over who reported having 5 or more drinks (for men) or 4 or more drinks (for women) at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other during the past 30 days.
I = 95% confidence interval.

There was no significant change between 2008 (27.1%) and 2011 (26.7%) in the proportion of adults aged 18 and over who reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking rates varied by sex, marital status, and veteran status. For example, in 2011:

  • 32.5% of male adults reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, one and a half times the binge drinking rate among female adults, 21.4%.
  • 9.6% of widowed adults reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, compared with: 22.5% of married adults, nearly two and a half times the binge drinking rate among widowed adults; 25.5% of divorced or separated adults, more than two and a half times the rate among widowed adults; and 39.7% of never-married adults, more than four times the rate among widowed adults.
  • 22.5% of veterans reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, compared with 27.2% of non-veterans.

Binge drinking, adults, 2008 and 2011

Decrease desired

SA-14.3 age and country graph

Objective SA-14.3 View Leading Health Indicators

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.
NOTE: Data are for the proportion of adults aged 18 and over who reported having 5 or more drinks (for men) or 4 or more drinks (for women) at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other during the past 30 days.
I = 95% confidence interval.

There was no significant change between 2008 (27.1%) and 2011 (26.7%) in the proportion of adults aged 18 and over who reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking rates varied by age and whether adults were born in or outside the United States. For example, in 2011:

  • 9.8% of adults aged 65 and over reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, compared with: 21.8% of adults aged 45–64, more than twice the binge drinking rate among adults aged 65 and over; and 36.6% of adults aged 18–44, more than three and a half times the rate among adults aged 65 and over.
  • 28.1% of adults who were born in the U.S. reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, almost one and a half times the binge drinking rate among adults born outside the U.S., 19.5%.

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