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SAMHSA News - May/June 2006, Volume 14, Number 3

SAMHSA Reports on Substance Use State by State

photo of faces of four young people embedded in outline of United StatesCalifornia and Wisconsin reported increases in underage alcohol use in the past month between 2002 and 2004, while Michigan and South Carolina showed decreases, according to a new state-by-state report from SAMHSA.

The report, State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2003-2004 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, estimates state rates of illegal drug use, binge and underage drinking, serious mental illness, and tobacco use. SAMHSA combined 2 years of data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to enhance the precision of estimates for less populous states.

The report shows that California increased from 24.7 percent of persons age 12 to 20 using alcohol in the past month to 26.3 percent, while Wisconsin increased from 34.7 percent to 38.3 percent. Michigan and South Carolina, however, showed decreases in underage drinking, from 31.8 percent to 30.2 percent for Michigan and from 27.3 percent to 24.1 percent for South Carolina.

Illinois, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia registered decreases in current illegal drug use among youth age 12 to 17. There were no statistically significant increases in current drug use among youth in any state, and there were no increases in either the 18 to 25 age group or the 26 and older age group.

The estimates show that past month use of any illicit drug in 2003-2004 ranged from a low of 5.8 percent in Mississippi to a high of 11.8 percent in Alaska for all persons age 12 and older. Four jurisdictions showed decreases between 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 among persons age 12 or older in current use of any illicit drug: the District of Columbia, Florida, Nevada, and Washington.

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Marijuana, Cocaine, Narcotic Pain Relievers

Seven jurisdictions had decreases in the past month for use of marijuana between 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 for those age 12 and older: Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Washington.

Rhode Island had the highest percentage of persons age 12 or older using cocaine in the past year at 3.5 percent. Ohio was the only state to show a decline in the use of cocaine in the past year, changing from 2.5 percent to 2.1 percent of persons age 12 and older.

In the District of Columbia and Hawaii in 2003-2004, approximately 3.1 percent of persons age 12 or older used narcotic pain relievers nonmedically, while 6.3 percent of those in Kentucky did. Washington and Kentucky were in the highest one-fifth for use of prescription pain relievers nonmedically in all three age groups (age 12 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 or older).

Arkansas and Maine had increases among those age 12 to 17, while California, Montana, and New York had increases in nonmedical use of prescription pain medications among those age 18 to 25. A decrease in nonmedical use of pain relievers was seen among persons age 12 and older in Hawaii (from 3.9 percent in 2002-2003 to 3.1 percent in 2003-2004).

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Psychological Distress

West Virginia had the highest rate of serious psychological distress among persons age 18 and older during the past year (12.7 percent) while Hawaii had the lowest rate (7.1 percent). Increases in serious psychological distress appeared in 10 states—Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming—and were generally the result of increases among persons age 26 and older.

The full report is available on the SAMHSA Web site at www.oas.samhsa.gov/2K4State/toc.htmEnd of Article

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Inside This Issue

Employment: Help for People with Mental Illness
Part 1
Part 2

From the Administrator: Employment Can Enhance Recovery

Special Report - The Road Home: National Conference on Returning Veterans & Their Families
The Road Home: National Conference on Returning Veterans & Their Families

Community Services Provide Safety Net for Returning Veterans
Part 1
Part 2

Addressing Special Needs of Veterans

Preventing Suicide among Veterans

Recovery Month Includes Veterans

Resources for Veterans

Report to Congress Offers Plan To Reduce Underage Drinking

Substance Use State by State

Therapeutic Community Curriculum Available

Community-Based Care Helps Children

Updates on SAMHSA Grants

Summit To Discuss Disaster Preparedness

SAMHSA Hosts HBCU Conference

Older Adult Treatment Admissions

SAMHSA News Information

SAMHSA News - May/June 2006, Volume 14, Number 3