Adult Substance Use in Special Populations: New Data
Three recent reports from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) highlight statistics about substance use among American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN), Hispanic, and Asian adults.
These studies were developed as part of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on data, outcomes, and quality, an effort to create an integrated data strategy that informs policy makers and service providers on the nature and scope of behavioral health issues.
Substance Use among American Indian or Alaskan Native Adults reveals that the rate of past-month alcohol use (i.e., at least one drink in the past 30 days) among AI/AN adults age 18 or older is significantly lower than the national average for adults (43.9 percent versus 55.2 percent).
However, the report also shows that AI/AN adults have a rate of past-month binge alcohol drinking that is well above the national average (30.6 percent versus 24.5 percent). Past-month binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion, on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.
The level of past-month illicit drug use was also found to be higher among AI/AN adults than the overall adult population (11.2 percent versus 7.9 percent).
The study’s other significant findings include:
- Eighteen percent of AI/AN adults needed treatment for an alcohol or illicit drug use problem in the past year, nearly twice the national average (9.6 percent).
- One in eight (12.6 percent) AI/AN adults who were in need of alcohol or illicit drug treatment in the past year received it at a specialty facility, about the same as the national average (10.4 percent).
- AI/AN adults’ past-month substance use rates drop significantly in older age groups. For example, illicit drug use levels drop from 25.4 percent in the 18 to 25 age group to 4.1 percent in those 50 and older.
Download Substance Use among American Indian or Alaskan Native Adults.
* The difference between American Indians or Alaska Natives and the national average is statistically significant at the .05 level.
Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies (June 24, 2010). Figure 2: Past-Month Substance Use among American Indians or Alaska Natives Age 18 or Older Compared with the National Average: 2004 to 2008. Substance Use among American Indian or Alaskan Native Adults. Rockville, MD.