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SAMHSA News - January/February 2007, Volume 15, Number 1

Substance Use in Metropolitan Areas

How are cities around the Nation doing in their efforts to lower substance use? Data on the Nation’s 15 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are now available in a new report from SAMHSA.

Rates of past-month (i.e., current) illicit drug use, binge alcohol use, and cigarette use for each of these areas were compared with the national average. The report’s data show:

  • San Francisco (12.7 percent) and Detroit (9.5 percent) MSAs had rates of past-month illicit drug use that were significantly higher than the rate for the Nation as a whole (8.1 percent) during the combined years of 2002 to 2005.

  • Chicago (25.7 percent) and Houston (25.6 percent) MSAs had higher rates of binge drinking than the national average (22.7 percent).

The 15 MSAs include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

For the complete report, visit SAMHSA’s Web site at

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