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SAMHSA News - March/April 2008, Volume 16, Number 2

Impact of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita

Among persons living in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, adults forced from their homes for 2 weeks or longer were much more likely to report mental health and substance abuse problems than those who were not displaced, according to a recent report from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Past-month illicit drug use was reported by 10.5 percent of adults displaced for 2 weeks or longer compared to 4.9 percent for those who had not been dislocated. Similarly, 25.7 percent of those experiencing prolonged dislocation suffered from serious psychological distress compared to 9.2 percent of those adults who were not forced from their homes.

For the complete report in PDF and HTML formats, visit SAMHSA’s Web site at To read the SAMHSA News cover story about Hurricane Katrina, visit

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