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SAMHSA News - May/June 2007, Volume 15, Number 3


Depression: Reports Offer Statistics

SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies (OAS) recently released two short reports on depression.

Links to Alcohol and Drug Use in Youth

According to a new report from SAMHSA, recent research suggests a strong connection between depression and the initiation of alcohol and illicit drug use.

Among youth age 12 to 17 who had not previously used alcohol, those who experienced a past-year major depressive episode (MDE) were twice as likely to have used alcohol for the first time during that same year as those who did not have a past-year MDE (29.2 percent versus 14.5 percent).

Among youth who had not previously used an illicit drug, those who experienced a past year MDE were more than twice as likely to have used drugs for the first time as those who did not (16.1 percent versus 6.9 percent).

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What the Data Tell Us

  Past Year MDE No Past Year MDE
Initiated Alcohol Use
29.2
14.5
Initiated Illicit Drug Use
16.1
6.9

Source: SAMHSA, 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

This chart illustrates that youth between age 12 and 17 were at least twice as likely to initiate alcohol or drug use if they had also experienced a past-year major depressive episode. For other charts and statistics, read SAMHSA’s short report.

The SAMHSA report, Depression and the Initiation of Alcohol and Other Drug Use among Youth Age 12 to 17, is based on data from the Agency’s 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

A major depressive episode is defined as a period of 2 weeks or longer during which a person has either a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as insomnia, lack of energy or appetite, difficulty concentrating, and poor self-image.

In 2005, 2.2 million youth age 12 to 17 experienced at least one MDE. Rates of occurrence varied by age—12-year-olds had the lowest rate (4.3 percent) of MDE occurrence; 17-year-olds had the highest (11.9 percent). Rates were relatively similar across racial and ethnic groups.

Depression and the Initiation of Alcohol and Other Drug Use among Youth Age 12 to 17 is available for download on SAMHSA’s Web site at www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/newUserDepression/
newUserDepression.pdf
.

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State-by-State Report

State estimates of past-year major depressive episodes are now available in a short report from SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies.

The report, State Estimates of Depression: 2004 and 2005, focuses on data collected from both youth and adults.

The combined 2004 and 2005 data indicate that 8.9 percent of youth age 12 to 17 and 7.7 percent of adults age 18 or older experienced at least one MDE in the past year.

Few significant differences emerged in the study in rates of past year MDE among youth or adults across states. Among youth age 12 to 17, rates of past year MDE were highest in Idaho (10.4 percent) and lowest in Louisiana (7.2 percent).

Rates of past-year MDE among adults age 18 or older were highest in Utah (10.1 percent) and lowest in Hawaii (6.7 percent).

State Estimates of Depression: 2004 and 2005 is available on SAMHSA’s Web site at www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/states/depression.pdf.

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Other Reports on Depression

Each year, OAS releases statistical short reports on specific topics of interest. For more information on depression, see the following reports:


Both these short reports were issued in late 2005.

For a complete list of short reports from SAMHSA’s OAS, visit www.oas.samhsa.gov.

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