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SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4

Boulder, Boston Areas Report Most Marijuana Use

cover of NSDUH report, Marijuana Use in Substate Areas - click to view reportA new report from SAMHSA estimates that Boston, MA, and Boulder, CO, are among the areas with the highest rates of past-month marijuana use in the Nation.

In Boston, an estimated 12.2 percent of the population age 12 and older used marijuana; the rate in Boulder was 10.3 percent. Northwestern Iowa and Southernmost Texas were among the areas with the lowest estimated rates at 2.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

Data in the short report Marijuana Use in Substate Areas are derived from a new online report, "Substate Estimates from the 1999-2001 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health."

This report combines 3 years of data to estimate—for the first time—drug use in 331 substate areas. Areas were designated by the states. For example, New York has two areas (New York City and the rest of the state), while Pennsylvania has 23 areas.

Marijuana data highlighted in the short report show that of the 15 substate areas with the highest rates of past-month marijuana use in the United States, 5 were in Massachusetts, 3 in California, and 2 in Colorado. Of the 15 areas ranked with the lowest rates of marijuana use in the past month, 4 were in Iowa.

"These new data provide us with a powerful new tool that can be used to focus and refine our substance abuse prevention and treatment strategies," said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W.

The reports also reveal large variations in past-month marijuana use within states. For example, rates of use in California ranged from a low of 4.9 percent in Orange County and Los Angeles County, to a high of 9.2 percent in Marin County, San Mateo County, and San Francisco County.

Rates in Colorado ranged from 6.3 percent in 27 counties covering Eastern Colorado to 10.3 percent in Boulder County.

Other areas with the highest rates of past-month marijuana use included northern California; western Colorado; part of the District of Columbia; the Island of Hawaii; Multnomah County, OR; Washington County, RI; and northwestern Vermont.

Other areas with the lowest rates of past-month marijuana use included western Idaho; eastern Kansas; eastern Nebraska; North Dakota's Lake Region and south central, Badlands, and west central regions; southeastern Oklahoma; and parts of eastern South Dakota.

The larger report details each of more than 300 substate areas and gives rates for 11 other indicators: past-month use of any illicit drug; incidence rate of marijuana use; past-month use of any illicit drug other than marijuana; past-year use of cocaine; past-month use of alcohol; past-month binge use of alcohol; past-month use of tobacco; past-month use of cigarettes; perceptions of great risk of smoking marijuana once a month; perceptions of great risk of having five or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage once or twice a week; and perceptions of great risk of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day.

The short report on marijuana is available on the Web at www.oas.samhsa.gov. The complete substate report is available on the Web only, at oas.samhsa.gov/substate2k5/
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Part 2

From the Administrator: Maximizing the Benefit of Medicare

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Boulder, Boston Areas Report Most Marijuana Use

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SAMHSA News

SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4




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