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National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

The data provide estimates of substance use and mental illness at the national, state, and substate levels. NSDUH data also help to identify the extent of substance use and mental illness among different subgroups, estimate trends over time, and determine the need for treatment services.

Data Source

Details

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides nationally representative data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs; substance use disorders; receipt of substance use treatment; mental health issues; and the use of mental health services among the civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 12 or older in the United States. NSDUH estimates allow researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the general public to better understand and improve the nation’s behavioral health.

Where Does Data Come From

Prior to 2020, NSDUH conducted face-to-face household interviews. Starting in 2020, NSDUH conducted both face-to-face household interviews and web-based interviews. NSDUH is representative of persons aged 12 and older in the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States and in each state and the District of Columbia. The survey covers residents of households (including those living in houses, townhouses, apartments, and condominiums), persons in noninstitutional group quarters (including those in shelters, boarding houses, college dormitories, migratory work camps, and halfway houses), and civilians living on military bases. Persons excluded from the survey include individuals experiencing homelessness who do not use shelters, active military personnel, and residents of institutional group quarters such as jails, nursing homes, mental institutions, and long-term care hospitals.

History

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.

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 in the sampling design (2014) and the questionnaire (2015). More information about the questionnaire changes can be found here. (PDF | 572 KB)

Reports

Annual Detailed Tables

Description:

These tables provide estimates, including by demographic, geographic, and socioeconomic groups.

Location: National
Format: XLS, ZIP, PDF, or HTML

Key Findings Report

Description:

Annual reports are produced every year, presenting information from a single data source

Location: National
Format: PDF or HTML

Methodology

Description:

The Methodological Resource Book (MRB) is intended to serve as documentation of survey materials and methodology associated with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The MRB documents detail the data collection and processing methods used and may include documentation on sampling, estimation, imputation, weighting, field interview protocols, and computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) questionnaire and screening questionnaires.

State Level Estimates

Description:

These reports present data on a single state or territory, and they may be released as a stand-alone publication or a recurring report.

Location: State
Format: PDF or HTML
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Substate Level Estimates

Description:

These reports present data on a single region (i.e. not a state or metro area), and they may be released as a stand-alone publication or a recurring report.

Location: Substate
Format: PDF or HTML
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Public Use Files

State & Substate Estimates

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Small Area Estimates displays the prevalence of mental health or substance use issues within a geographic area. Use this tool to compare between areas, look at how the outcome has changed over time, or compare the data to related issues.