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Substance Abuse

Latest Data

Explore the latest data and disparities for each indicator.

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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 was 14.2% in 2015.i Rates were higher among adolescents aged 16–17 years (26.8%) and 14–15 years (11.8%) compared to adolescents aged 12–13 years (3.4%).

In 2015, the rate of adults aged 18 years and over who engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days was 26.9%.ii Several population groups in selected demographic categories had the lowest rate of binge drinking among adults in the past 30 days, including Asian persons, females, those aged 85 and over, those born outside of the U.S., veterans, and widowed persons.

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 2015, 14.2% of adolescents aged 12–17 years reported use of alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Target: 12.8%, a 10% improvement over the baseline.

Alcohol or Illicit Drug Use among Adolescents, 2015

Alcohol or Illicit Drug Use among Adolescents, 2015

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

  • Disparities were observed for a number of population groups in 2015. For example:
    • Asian adolescents aged 12–17 years reported the lowest rate of alcohol or illicit drug use in the past 30 days among racial and ethnic groups, 6.1%. Rates for adolescents in other racial and ethnic groups were:
      • 15.7% among adolescents who identify with 2 or more races; more than 2.5 times the best group rate
      • 15.2% among white non-Hispanic adolescents; 2.5 times the best group rate
      • 15.1% among American Indian or Alaska Native adolescents; 2.5 times the best group rate
      • 14.1% among Hispanic or Latino adolescents; more than twice the best group rate
      • 12.5% among black non-Hispanic adolescents; twice the best group rate
    • Among age groups, the youngest adolescents (aged 12–13 years) had the lowest rate of alcohol or illicit drug use in the past 30 days, 3.4%. Rates for the other age groups increased with age:
      • 11.8% of adolescents aged 14–15 years; more than 3 times the best group rate
      • 26.8% of adolescents aged 16–17 years; more than 7.5 times the best group rate
    • Adolescents aged 12–17 years born outside of the U.S. reported a lower rate of alcohol or illicit drug use than adolescents born in the U.S. (9.6% versus 14.5%). The rate for adolescents born outside of the U.S. was 50.8% higher than that for adolescents born in the U.S.
Endnotes:
  • i The baseline and target for this objective were revised. In 2015, SAMHSA implemented changes to the NSDUH including survey questionnaire, respondent materials, and data collection equipment; as a result data presented in this report are not comparable with data from previous years. For more information, please see: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-TrendBreak-2015.pdf and https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-RedesignChanges-2015.pdf
  • 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 years and over who engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2015, 26.9% of adults aged 18 years and over reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Target: 24.2%, a 10% improvement over the baseline.

Adult Binge Drinking in Past 30 Days by Marital Status, 2015

Adult Binge Drinking in Past 30 Days by Marital Status, 2015

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

  • Disparities were observed for a number of population groups in 2015. For example:
    • Asian adults aged 18 years and over reported the lowest binge-drinking rate in the past 30 days among racial and ethnic groups, 15.2%. Rates for adults in other racial and ethnic groups were:
      • 28.7% for Hispanic or Latino adults; 88.6% higher than the best group rate
      • 27.7% for white non-Hispanic adults; 82.0% higher than the best group rate
      • 27.6% for American Indian or Alaska Native adults; 81.1% higher than the best group rate
      • 26.8% for adults who identified with 2 or more races; 76.1% higher than the best group rate
      • 25.7% for black non-Hispanic adults; 68.7% higher than the best group rate
      • 23.4% for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adults; 53.8% higher than the best group rate
    • Adult females aged 18 years and over reported a lower rate of binge drinking than adult males (22.0% versus 32.1%). The rate for males was 46.3% higher than that for females.
    • Among age groups, adults aged 85 years and over had the lowest rate of binge drinking, 5.3%, in 2015. Rates for the other age groups were:
      • 7.8% among adults aged 75–84 years; not significantly different than the best group rate
      • 11.7% among adults aged 65–74 years; more than twice the best group rate
      • 24.0% among adults aged 45–64 years; 4.5 times the best group rate
      • 35.9% among adults aged 18–44 years; more than 6.5 times the best group rate
    • Adults aged 18 years and over born outside of the U.S. reported a lower rate of binge drinking than adults born in the U.S. (19.1% versus 28.5%). The rate for adults born in the U.S. was 49.1% higher than that for adults born outside of the U.S.
    • Adults aged 18 years and over who are veterans reported a lower rate of binge drinking than adults who are non-veterans (23.2% versus 27.2%). The rate for non-veterans was 17.7% higher than that for veterans.
    • When assessed by current marital status, adults aged 18 years and over who were widowed had the lowest rate of binge drinking, 13.0%, in 2015. Rates for the other marital groups were:
      • 37.7% for adults who were never married; more than 2.5 times the best group rate
      • 28.6% for divorced or separated adults; more than twice the best group rate
      • 22.5% for married adults; 72.6% higher than the best group rate
Endnotes:
  • ii The baseline and target for this objective were revised. In 2015, SAMHSA implemented changes to the NSDUH including survey questionnaire, respondent materials, and data collection equipment; as a result data presented in this report are not comparable with data from previous years. For more information, please see: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-TrendBreak-2015.pdf and https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-RedesignChanges-2015.pdf
  • Unless noted otherwise, all disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data are for adults aged 18 years 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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