Combined 2010 and 2011 (hereafter "2010-2011") data indicate that about 1 in 22 (4.6 percent) persons aged 12 or older nationwide reported having used pain relievers nonmedically in the past year, which was lower than the rate using combined 2009 and 2010 (hereafter "2009-2010") data (4.9 percent). The 2010-2011 rates of nonmedical pain reliever use ranged from 3.6 percent in Iowa to 6.4 percent in Oregon (Table 1). Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington were ranked in the top fifth of States for this measure in age groups 12 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 or older, as well as for the total population aged 12 or older. Georgia was ranked in the lowest fifth in each of these age groups (Table 2).
|Quintile and State||Percent||95% Confidence
|States with Rates between 5.33 and 6.37|
|States with Rates between 4.80 and 5.32|
|States with Rates between 4.46 and 4.79|
|District of Columbia||4.68%||3.79-5.76|
|States with Rates between 4.08 and 4.45|
|States with Rates between 3.62 and 4.07|
|NOTE: Estimates are shown in rank order so that the distribution and range of estimates can be more easily seen both within and across quintiles. Caution is advised against making statements such as "Oregon's rate is higher than Colorado's rate" or other similar statements as the difference between the rates may not be statistically significant. No significance tests were conducted between any two States.
Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2010 (Revised March 2012) and 2011.
|State||12 or Older||12 to 17||18 to 25||26 or Older|
|Total United States||4.89a||4.57||6.43a||6.09||11.54a||10.43||3.53||3.37|
|District of Columbia||4.29||4.68||4.67||4.23||8.23||8.35||3.39||3.88|
|a Difference between the 2009-2010 estimate and the 2010-2011 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.
b Difference between the 2009-2010 estimate and the 2010-2011 estimate is statistically significant at the .10 level.
Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009, 2010 (Revised March 2012), and 2011.
Of the 10 States with the highest rates of past year nonmedical pain reliever use within the total population aged 12 or older, 7 were in the West region (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington), 2 were in the South (Arkansas and Delaware), and 1 was in the Midwest (Indiana).7 Of the States with the lowest rates of past year nonmedical pain reliever, 4 were in the Midwest region (Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota), 1 was in the Northeast (New York), 4 were in the South (Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and North Carolina), and 1 was in the West (Hawaii).
The national rate for the total population declined between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (from 4.9 to 4.6 percent).8 This rate also decreased nationally among persons aged 12 to 17 (from 6.4 to 6.1 percent), and among those 18 to 25 (from 11.5 to 10.4 percent); however, the rate remained unchanged for persons aged 26 or older. Between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, past year nonmedical use of pain relievers among persons aged 12 or older decreased in Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Among 12 to 17 year olds, Maryland's and Mississippi's rates decreased between these time periods (from 5.8 to 4.6 percent and from 8.5 to 6.9 percent, respectively). Among persons aged 18 to 25, the rates of past year nonmedical use of pain relievers declined in 14 States (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia). Among persons aged 26 or older, Oklahoma's rate decreased from 5.3 to 3.9 percent. There were no other changes at the State level in any of the age groups.
Complete 2010-2011 NSDUH State results will be available online at https://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2k11State/NSDUHsae2011/Index.aspx. In addition to nonmedical use of pain relievers included in this short report, estimates for 24 other measures of substance use and mental health problems will be available, including use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; substance dependence or abuse; serious mental illness; depression; and suicidal thoughts. National maps for all 25 measures and detailed tables including percentages for each State, census region, and the Nation by age will also be provided. In 2013, additional detailed tables for the 25 measures will be released, including comparisons of the 2009-2010 and the 2002-2003 State estimates to the 2010-2011 estimates by age for each State, census region, and the Nation.
Nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers is a health concern for the citizens of every State and the District of Columbia. Data in this issue of The NSDUH Report highlight that use of these substances varies between States. These findings suggest that efforts to reduce the nonmedical use of pain relievers have resulted in some progress, although this progress has not been uniform across all States. Highlighting the prevalence of the nonmedical use of pain relievers in each State, as well as monitoring changes, will help State and Federal policymakers to refine and focus substance abuse prevention and treatment strategies designed to reduce the burden of pain reliever misuse on the Nation's health and health care system.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The survey collects data by administering questionnaires to a representative sample of the population through face-to-face interviews at their place of residence.
The NSDUH Report is prepared by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ), SAMHSA, and by RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. (RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute.)
Information on the most recent NSDUH is available in the following publication:
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2012). Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of national findings (HHS Publication No. SMA 12-4713, NSDUH Series H-44). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Also available online: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/data-we-collect/nsduh-national-survey-drug-use-and-health.