Prevalence rates for other illicit drugs are smaller and consequently more difficult to accurately measure. There were no major changes in the prevalence of the use of inhalants, heroin or non-medical use of psychotherapeutics between 1994 and 1995. However, a significant increase in hallucinogen use was seen, particularly among youths age 12-17, and a significant increase in the lifetime rate of heroin smoking was evident for the population 12 and older.
- Estimates of heroin use from the NHSDA are considered very conservative due to the probable undercoverage of the population of heroin users. Estimates of lifetime heroin prevalence have generally remained at around 2 million since 1979, and no significant changes in past year or past month prevalence have been detected. While the estimated number of current heroin users was 117,000 in 1994 and 196,000 in 1995, this is not a statistically significant change.
- The 1995 NHSDA estimated that 1.4 million people had smoked heroin in their lifetime. This estimate was about twice as large as the 1994 estimate. Although the change was statistically significant only for the 35-and-older age group, estimates for other age groups were also higher in 1995 than in 1994, including youths age 12-17.
- The rate of current use of hallucinogens increased between 1994 and 1995 (0.5 percent in 1994 and 0.7 percent in 1995). Among youth age 12-17, the rate increased from 1.1 percent to 1.7 percent.
- For inhalants, the overall rate of past month use was 0.4 percent in both 1994 and 1995.
- The estimated prevalence rate of nonmedical use of psychotherapeutics (tranquilizers, sedatives, analgesics, or stimulants) in the past month was 1.2 percent in both 1994 and 1995.
- The estimated number of persons who have tried methamphetamine in their lifetime was 4.7 million (2.2 percent of the population) in 1995. In 1994, the estimate had been 3.8 million (1.8 percent). However, this change was not statistically significant.
This page was last updated on June 16, 2008.