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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
September/October 2008, Volume 16, Number 5 

Youth Substance Usse Declines

Rise in Prescription Drug Misuse

Despite many positive trends, the survey also reveals some less encouraging data. Among young adults age 18 to 25, the level of current nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers has risen 12 percent (from 4.1 in 2002 to 4.6 percent in 2007). Among adults age 26 and older, the rate also increased, from 1.3 to 1.6 percent.

Overall, 6.9 million people (2.8 percent) age 12 or older used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically in the past month. Of these, 5.2 million used pain relievers, the same number as in 2006.

Among people age 12 or older who used pain relievers nonmedically in the past year, 56.5 percent reported that the source of the drug the most recent time they used was a friend or relative for free. Another 18.1 percent reported they got the drug from one doctor.

Baby Boomers Still Using

Among adults age 50 to 59, the rate of current illicit drug use showed an increasing trend between 2002 and 2007. For those age 50 to 54, the rate increased from 3.4 percent in 2002 to 5.7 percent in 2007.

The level of current illicit drug use among people age 55 to 59 more than doubled from 1.9 percent in 2002 to 4.1 percent in 2007.

Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug (14.4 million past-month users). Among people age 12 or older, the rate of past-month marijuana use in 2007 (5.8 percent) was similar to the corresponding estimates for 2005 and 2006.

Current marijuana use among youth age 12 to 17 declined from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2007. Most of the decline occurred between 2002 and 2005.

NSDUH is a scientifically conducted annual survey of approximately 67,500 people throughout the Nation. It is a primary source of information on the levels of illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use as well as certain mental health conditions. Because of improvements to the survey in 2002, the 2002 data constitute a new baseline for tracking trends.

Complete NSDUH findings are available on the SAMHSA Web.


Grant Awards Announced

SAMHSA recently announced grant awards for programs related to children's mental health, suicide, drug-free communities, and others.

Grant Awards Update

  National Survey on Drug Use  
  and Health  

Youth Substance Use Declines

From the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, new national data show a drop in illicit drug use among youth and an increase in adult prescription drug misuse.

image of part of a bar chart

Drugs and Youth: Chart Shows 2002 to 2007 Data

Marijuana, cocaine—changes in use of selected illicit drugs among youth, 2002 versus 2007.

logo for National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Recovery Month Testimonials

Two people relate their personal stories of addiction, recovery, and hope.

  Mental Health  
photo of a hand holding a pen to paper

Making Mental Health Services Accessible

Can primary care doctors help with mental health problems? New strategies to overcome barriers associated with reimbursement.

the letter i depicted as an icon representing a friend to lean on

Pros and Cons of Self-Disclosure

What are the risks and benefits of revealing a mental health problem to friends or coworkers?

photo of a boy pointing and a girl laughing

Bullying: Starting the Conversation

Bullies are out there—SAMHSA resources can help parents and educators address the problem.

  Substance Abuse  
photo of people sitting in a circle

Mutual Support Groups: Fact Sheet for Providers

What do you know about mutual support groups? Providers can help connect clients with groups that help people achieve recovery.

photo of a sign reading “Repeated Admissions Start Line Here”

First-Time Versus Repeat Admissions

New SAMHSA data reveal characteristics of first-time and repeat admissions to substance abuse treatment.

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

Registry Posts 100th Evidence-Based Practice

NREPP reaches a milestone—find out how the Registry can link communities to interventions specific to their needs.

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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road - Rockville, MD 20857
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