The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) measures:
- use of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco
- mental disorders, treatment, and co-occurring substance use and mental disorders
The data provides estimates of substance use and mental illness at the national, state, and sub-state levels. NSDUH data also help to identify the extent of substance use and mental illness among different sub-groups, estimate trends over time, and determine the need for treatment services.
Learn More About Each of Our Reports
The Annual Reports are part of the First Finding Reports series for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey of the U.S. population ages 12 years or older. The main First Findings Report contains a cross-section of NSDUH data on substance use and substance use disorders, mental health issues among adults and adolescents, and co-occurring disorders. The other reports focus on specific topics, such as receipt of treatment among adults, substance use initiation, and risk and protective factors. The State Reports use two years of combined NSDUH data (on a rolling basis) and provide state estimates for a subset of measures of substance use and mental health outcomes. State and regional estimates are based on a small area estimation (SAE) methodology in which state-level NSDUH data are combined with county and subcounty level census data from the state. The Substate Reports use three years of combined NSDUH data (with one year overlapping) and provide state estimates for a subset of measures of substance use and mental health outcomes. These estimates are based on an SAE methodology in which substate-level NSDUH data are combined with county and census block group and tract-level data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
NSDUH collects data through face-to-face interviews with residents of households who are:
- US civilians
- older than 12 years old
- not institutionalized
This includes people who live in non-institutional group residences, such as shelters, rooming houses, or dormitories, as well as civilians living on military bases. The survey does not include people who are homeless or do not use shelters, military personnel on active duty, or residents of institutional group quarters, such as jails and hospitals.
The federal government has conducted the survey since 1971. Over the years, the survey has undergone a series of changes. In 1999, the survey shifted from paper-and-pencil data collection to computer-assisted interviewing (CAI). With CAI, staff administer most questions with audio computer-assisted self-interviewing. This provides a confidential way to answer questions and encourages honest responses.
Also in 1999, the sample design expanded to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2002, the name of the survey changed from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse to NSDUH. The survey also began including a $30 incentive for respondents. The most recent updates are changes to the sampling design (2014) and changes to the questionnaire (2015). More information about the questionnaire changes can be found here (PDF | 572 KB).