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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 13.0% between 2008 and 2014, from 18.4% to 16.0%. Rates were higher among adolescents aged 16–17 years (29.3%) and 14–15 years (12.9%) compared to adolescents aged 12–13 years (4.9%).
 
During the same time period, there was no statistically significant change in the rate of adults aged 18 years and over who engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days (27.1% in 2008 and 27.0% in 2014). In 2014, several population groups in selected demographic categories had the lowest rate of binge drinking, including Asian adults, females, older adults, adults born outside of the U.S., veterans, and widowed adults.  
 
Leading Health Indicators
Explore the latest data and disparities for each indicator.
 

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 13.0% between 2008 and 2014, from 18.4% to 16.0%.

Alcohol or Illicit Drug Use among Adolescents, 2013

Substance Abuse in Adolescents Graphic

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

In 2014, 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, 7.3%. Rates for adolescents in other racial and ethnic groups were:
    • 17.9% among American Indian or Alaska Native adolescents; 2.5 times the best group rate
    • 17.6% among adolescents who identify with 2 or more races; more than twice the best group rate 
    • 16.8% among white non-Hispanic adolescents; more than twice the best group rate 
    • 16.5% among Hispanic or Latino adolescents; more than twice the best group rate 
    • 14.9% among black non-Hispanic adolescents; more than twice the best group rate 
    • 12.0% for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adolescents; more than 1.5 times the best group rate 
  • Among age groups, the youngest adolescents (12–13 years) had the lowest rate of alcohol or illicit drug use in the past 30 days, 4.9%. Rates for the other age groups increase with age:
    • 12.9% of adolescents aged 14–15 years; more than 2.5 times the best group rate
    • 29.3% of adolescents aged 16–17 years; 6 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. (12.5% versus 16.2%).
Endnotes:
  • 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 2008, 27.1% of adults aged 18 years and over reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days.
    • HP2020 Target: 24.4%, a 10% improvement over the baseline. 
    • There was no statistically significant change in the percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days (27.1% in 2008 and 27.0% in 2014).
In 2014, among adults aged 18 years and over:
  • Asian adults reported the lowest binge-drinking rate in the past 30 days among racial and ethnic groups, 17.1%. Rates for adults in other racial and ethnic groups were:
    • 30.7% for American Indian or Alaska Native adults 
    • 29.6% for Hispanic or Latino adults
    • 27.6% for adults who identified with 2 or more races
    • 27.5% for white non-Hispanic adults
    • 25.3% for black non-Hispanic adults
    • 24.1% for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adults
  • Adult females reported a lower rate of binge drinking than adult males (21.8% versus 32.6%).
  • Among age groups, adults aged 85 years and over had the lowest rate of binge drinking, 4.4%, in 2014. Rates for the other age groups were:
    • 6.2% among adults aged 75–84 years
    • 12.4% among adults aged 65–74 years; more than 2.5 times the best group rate 
    • 23.1% among adults aged 45–64 years; more than 5 times the best group rate 
    • 36.7% among adults aged 18–44 years; more than 8 times 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. (21.3% versus 28.2%).
  • Adults who are veterans reported a lower rate of binge drinking than adults who are non-veterans (21.2% versus 27.6%).
  • When assessed by current marital status, adults who were widowed had the lowest rate of binge drinking, 11.6%, in 2014. Rates for the other marital groups were:
    • 38.8% for adults who were never married; more than 3 times the best group rate 
    • 28.7% for divorced or separated adults; 2.5 times the best group rate 
    • 22.0% for married adults; more than 1.5 times the best group rate 

Adult Binge Drinking in Past 30 Days by Marital Status, 2014

Substance Abuse by Marital Status Graphic

 

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

 

Endnotes:
  • 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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