2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases
Find reports and detailed tables that present findings and data based on results of the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
First Finding Reports
These reports are part of the First Finding Reports series for the 2015 NSDUH, an annual survey of the population of the United States 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 second report, released at the same time as the main report, presents findings on the use and misuse of prescription psychotherapeutic drugs. The other reports focus on specific topics, such as suicide thoughts and behaviors, receipt of treatment, risk and protective factors, sexual orientation, and military families.
Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States
The 2015 Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators report summarizes the following:
- Use of illicit drugs (such as, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants, as well as the misuse of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives)
- Use of alcohol and tobacco products
- Rates and the number of substance use disorders
- Rates and the number of any mental illness, serious mental illness, and major depressive episode
Additionally, substance use trends are presented for 2002 to 2015, while trends for most mental health issues are reported for 2008 to 2015. However, the section of the report titled “Notable 2015 NSDUH Questionnaire Changes” notes that some estimates no longer have comparability with prior years.
Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States
The Prescription Drug Use and Misuse report presents findings from the 2015 NSDUH on the use and misuse of prescription psychotherapeutic drugs – such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives – in the past year for the population ages 12 or older in the United States. The report presents additional findings that are relevant to the misuse of prescription drugs, such as motivations for misuse and where individuals obtained the last prescription drugs that they misused. The report also discusses the redesign of the prescription drug questions for 2015, the new definition for misuse, and relevant terminology issues such as "misuse" rather than "nonmedical use." Estimates for selected outcomes are presented by age, gender, race, Hispanic origin, and county type.
Receipt of Services for Substance Use and Mental Health Issues Among Adults
The Receipt of Services for Substance Use and Mental Health Issues Among Adults report presents data from the 2015 NSDUH for substance use treatment and mental health service use among adults ages 18 or older in the United States.
Report estimates show receipt of services for:
- Substance use treatment by adults ages 18 to 25, and 26 or older
- Mental health service by adults ages 26 to 49, and 50 or older
The report examines trends in mental health service use by comparing estimates from 2002 through 2014 or from 2008 through 2014 for select estimates. Significant differences are highlighted between estimates in 2015 and those prior. Trends for substance use treatment and other estimates are not available because of methodological changes in 2015.
Risk and Protective Factors and Estimates of Substance Use Initiation
The Risk and Protective Factors and Estimates of Substance Use Initiation report presents data regarding the perceived harmfulness of using cigarettes, alcohol, and specific illicit drugs and the perceived availability of substances. Estimates are for specific age groups.
The report estimates the perceived great risk of harm associated with the use of marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettes alone and also according to whether people initiated use of these substances in the past year.
In addition, the report examines youth-specific protective factors, such as perceptions about parents disapproving of youth substance use.
Finally, this report estimates how many people initiated substance use in the past year and the average age at first use among them. Statistically significant differences are noted for these various estimates.
Sexual Orientation and Estimates of Adult Substance Use and Mental Health
The Sexual Orientation and Estimates of Adult Substance Use and Mental Health report presents estimates from the 2015 NSDUH for substance use and mental health based on sexual identity traits among adults ages 18 or older.
The report compares adults among sexual minority (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) and sexual majority (heterosexual) groups by sex and by age group. Substance use measures include illicit drug use within the past year, current use of cigarettes or alcohol, substance use disorders, and the need for and use of treatment. Mental health estimates include any mental illness, severe mental illness, depression, and the use of mental health treatment.
Spouses and Children of U.S. Military Personnel
The Spouses and Children of U.S. Military Personnel report compares data related to substance use and mental health for military family members (spouses and children) with the general population. The numbers of military family members included in the 2015 NSDUH were relatively small. As a consequence, the report focuses on wives aged 18 to 49 and children aged 12 to 17.
In the general area of substance use, the report estimates the following for past year:
- Use of any illicit substances (marijuana, cocaine in any form, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and methamphetamine)
- Misuse of prescription drugs (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives)
- Cigarette use
- Alcohol use (both any use and binge use)
- Treatment for substance use, including alcohol use
In the general area of mental health, the report estimates any mental illness (AMI) in the past year for wives. For both wives and children, the report estimates major depressive episodes (MDE) and mental health service use in the past year. For children, estimates of mental health service are reported by general treatment setting (e.g., mental health, educational, medical).
As additional years of data become available, it will be possible for future reports to include both male and female spouses and to make more detailed comparisons. For example: more specific types of illicit substances used; treatment received by setting; and data sorted by race/ethnicity, employment, and educational background.
Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior Among Adults
The Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior Among Adults report (also available in PDF | 673 KB) presents findings from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) on estimates for suicidal thoughts, plans, and non-fatal attempts for adults ages 18 or older. Estimates are also included of those who had suicidal thoughts, their percentage of illicit drug use, substance use disorders, and major depressive episode. Comparisons are made by sex and by age group. Trends are examined between 2014 and 2015 and, in some cases, 2008 and 2015.
The 2015 NSDUH report contains a collection of detailed tables that present data on substance use and mental health. The tables (also available in PDF | 14.2 MB) present national estimates of rates of substance use, numbers of users, and other measures related to illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products. The focus is on trends between 2014 and 2015 and from 2002 to 2015, as well as differences across population subgroups in 2015. However, there were questionnaire changes for 2015 that no longer allow comparability between 2015 data and previous years’ data. Please refer to Section C of the Methodological Summary and Definitions report for more information.
The mental health tables present information on past year mental health measures and past year mental health service utilization for youths ages 12 to 17 and adults ages 18 or older.
The tables present data on adults ages 18 or older and include measures on the following:
- Any mental illness
- Serious mental illness
- Moderate mental illness
- Low (mild) mental illness
- Mental health service utilization, including treatment or counseling for mental health issues
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- Major depressive episode
- Treatment for depression among adults with major depressive episode
- Serious psychological distress
Tables with data on youth include measures on the following:
- Mental health service utilization
- Major depressive episode
- Treatment for depression among youths with major depressive episode
- Measures related to the co-occurrence of mental disorders with substance use or with substance use disorders also are presented for both adults and youth. These detailed tables focus mainly on trends between 2014 and 2015 and differences across population subgroups in 2015.
Methodological Summary and Definitions
The 2015 Methodological Summary and Definitions report (also available in PDF | 1.5 MB) summarizes the 2015 NSDUH methods and other supporting information that are relevant to estimates of substance use and mental health issues. This report is organized into seven sections:
- Section A describes the survey, including information about the sample design; data collection procedures; and key aspects of data processing, such as development of analysis weights.
- Section B presents technical details on the statistical methods and measurement, such as suppression criteria for unreliable estimates, statistical testing procedures, and issues for selected substance use and mental health measures.
- Section C describes changes that were made to the 2015 NSDUH questionnaire and the effects of these changes on the comparability of estimates between 2015 and earlier years.
- Section D includes a glossary that covers key definitions used the NSDUH reports and tables.
- Section E describes other sources of data on substance use and mental health issues, including data sources for populations outside the NSDUH target population.
- Section F lists references cited in the report.
- Section G lists contributors to the report.