State-by-State Report Shows Substantial Disparities
A new report from SAMHSA provides state-by-state analyses of substance abuse and mental illness patterns in 23 different “categories” or measures, including illicit drug use, binge drinking, alcohol and illicit drug dependence, tobacco use, serious psychological distress, and major depressive episodes.
Patterns reveal wide variations in the levels of illicit drug use and other problems found among the states.
“Every state faces its own unique pattern of public health problems, especially related to substance abuse and mental health issues,” said SAMHSA’s Acting Administrator Eric B. Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. “By highlighting the exact nature and scope of the problems in each state, we can help state public health authorities better determine the most effective ways of addressing them.”
See bullets below for highlights about Utah, Vermont, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.
Disparities in illicit drug use and alcohol dependence are good examples of how different specific state data are. Comparing Iowa and Rhode Island, among those age 12 and older, Iowa had less than half the current illicit drug use rate of Rhode Island (5.2 percent vs. 12.5 percent). On the other hand, Iowa’s population age 12 and older had one of the Nation’s highest levels of people experiencing alcohol dependence or abuse in the past year (9.2 percent).
- Vermont had highest incidence rate of marijuana use among people age 12 and older (2.5 percent). Utah had the lowest (1.6) percent.
- The District of Columbia had the highest rate of past-year cocaine use among those age 12 and older (5.1 percent). Mississippi had the lowest (1.6 percent).
- Utah had the lowest rate of current underage drinking (17.3 percent). North Dakota had the highest (40 percent).
- Tennessee had the highest rate of people age 18 and older experiencing a major depressive episode in the past year (9.8 percent). Hawaii had the lowest (5.0 percent).
The report is based on SAMHSA’s 2006 and 2007 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), using data drawn from interviews with 135,672 persons across the country.
The report also provides valuable data on the changes occurring within each of the states during the time since the last report (from the 2005 and 2006 NSDUH). For example, the report shows the rate of current tobacco use in Colorado rose from 26.5 percent to 29.8 percent during this period.
Download State Estimates of Substance Use From the 2006-2007 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Free print copies are available (limited quantity) from SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727). Ask for publication number SMA09-4362.