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Substance Abuse

Latest Data

Explore the latest data for the LHI topic Substance Abuse.
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Where We've Been and Where We're Going

The rate of alcohol or illicit drug use in the past 30 days among adolescents aged 12–17 years decreased by 13.6% between 2008 and 2013, from 18.4% to 15.9%. Rates were higher among adolescents aged 16–17 years (29.1%) and 14–15 years (13.9%) compared to adolescents aged 12–13 years (4.2%).
 
During the same time period, there was no significant change in the rate of adults aged 18 and over who engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days (27.1% in 2008 and 26.9% in 2013). In 2013, several population groups had the lowest rate of binge drinking in their specific demographic categories, including Asian adults, women, older adults, adults born outside of the U.S., and widowed adults.
 

Leading Health Indicators

Explore the latest data and disparities for each indicator.
Adolescents using alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 days (SA-13.1)
Adults engaging in binge drinking during the past 30 days (SA-14.3)

Adolescents who used alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days (SA-13.1)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective SA-13.1 tracks the proportion of adolescents who used alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2008, 18.4% of adolescents aged 12–17 years reported use of alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Target: 16.6%, a 10% improvement over the baseline. 
    • The percentage of adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported use of alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 days decreased by 13.6% between 2008 and 2013, from 18.4% to 15.9%.

Alcohol or Illicit Drug Use among Adolescents, 2013

Adolescent substance use web graphic

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.

In 2013, among adolescents aged 12–17 years:
  • Asian adolescents reported the lowest rate of alcohol or illicit drug use in the past 30 days among racial and ethnic groups, 10.4%. Rates for adolescents in other racial and ethnic groups were:
    • 16.9% among American Indian or Alaska Native adolescents; more than 1.5 times the best group rate
    • 16.5% among black non-Hispanic adolescents; more than 1.5 times the best group rate
    • 16.5% among white non-Hispanic adolescents; more than 1.5 times the best group rate
    • 15.6% among Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adolescents; not significantly different than the best group rate
    • 15.4% among Hispanic adolescents; about 1.5 times the best group rate
    • 15.0% among adolescents who identify with 2 or more races; about 1.5 times the best group rate
  • Among age groups, the youngest adolescents (12–13 years) reported the lowest rate of alcohol or illicit drug use, 4.2%. Rates for other age groups were:
    • 13.9% among adolescents aged 14–15 years; almost 3.5 times the best group rate
    • 29.1% among adolescents aged 16–17 years; about 7 times the best group rate
  • Adolescents born outside of the U.S. reported a lower rate of alcohol or illicit drug use than adolescents born in the U.S. (13.5% versus 16.1%).

Endnotes:

  • Unless noted otherwise, all disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data are for adolescents aged 12–17 years who reported using at least 1 of the following substances in the past 30 days: alcohol, marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically, including methamphetamines.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.  
  • Data for this objective are available annually and come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.

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Adults who engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days (SA-14.3)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective SA-14.3 tracks the proportion of adults aged 18 and over who engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2008, 27.1% of adults aged 18 and over reported that they engaged in binge drinking during the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Target: 24.4%, a 10% improvement over the baseline. 
    • There was no significant change in the percentage of adults aged 18 and over who reported that they engaged in binge drinking during the past 30 days (27.1% in 2008 and 26.9% in 2013).
In 2013, among adults aged 18 and over:
  • Asian adults reported the lowest binge-drinking rate in the past 30 days among racial and ethnic groups, 14.4%. Rates for adults in other racial and ethnic groups were:
    • 28.7% among Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adults; about twice the best group rate
    • 28.6% among Hispanic adults; about twice the best group rate
    • 28.3% among American Indian or Alaska Native adults; about twice the best group rate
    • 28.1% among white non-Hispanic adults; nearly twice the best group rate
    • 27.4% among adults who identify with 2 or more races; nearly twice the best group rate
    • 23.6% among black non-Hispanic adults; more than 1.5 times the best group rate
  • Adult females reported a lower rate of binge drinking than adult males (21.4% versus 32.8%).
  • Among age groups, adults aged 65 and over reported the lowest rate of binge drinking, 9.8%. Rates for other age groups were:
    • 36.9% among adults aged 18–44 years; nearly 3 times the best group rate
    • 22.1% among adults aged 45–64 years; more than twice the best group rate
  • Adults born outside of the U.S. reported a lower rate of binge drinking than adults born in the U.S. (19.6% versus 28.3%).
  • When assessed by current marital status, adults who are widowed reported the lowest rate of binge drinking, 8.8%. Rates for the other marital groups were:
    • 39.6% among adults who have never been married; about 4.5 times the best group rate
    • 26.9% among adults who are currently divorced or separated; more than 3 times the best group rate
    • 22.3% among adults who are married; about 2.5 times the best group rate

Adult Binge Drinking in Past 30 Days by Marital Status, 2013

Binge Drinking in Adults Web Graphic

SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.

 

Endnotes:

  • Unless noted otherwise, all disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data are for adults aged 18 and over who engaged in binge drinking, defined as 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.  
  • Data for this objective are available annually and come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.

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