Drug Use Estimates: Prevalence and Trends

1. Prevalence of Illegal Drug Use in the US Among People Aged 12 or Older

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who were past year marijuana users increased from 11.0 percent (or 25.8 million people) in 2002 to 17.5 percent (or 48.2 million people) in 2019. Over this same period, the percentage who were past year cocaine users decreased
from 2.5 percent (or 5.9 million people) to 2.0 percent (or 5.5 million people).

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who were past year misusers of prescription pain relievers declined from 4.7 percent (or 12.5 million people) in 2015 to 3.5 percent (or 9.7 million people) in 2019.

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who were past year misusers of prescription benzodiazepines declined from 2.1 percent (or 5.5 million people) in 2015 to 1.8 percent (or 4.8 million people) in 2019. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the percentage who were past year misusers of prescription benzodiazepines declined from 5.2 percent (or 1.8 million people) in 2015 to 3.8 percent (or 1.3 million people) in 2019.

"• Among adults aged 26 or older, the percentage who were past year marijuana users increased from 7.0 percent (or 12.6 million people) in 2002 to 15.2 percent (or 33.0 million people) in 2019. The percentage who were past year hallucinogen users increased from 0.8 percent (or 1.7 million people) in 2015 to 1.5 percent (or 3.1 million people) in 2019. The percentage who were past year methamphetamine users increased from 0.5 percent (or 1.1 million people) in 2016 to 0.8 percent (or 1.7 million people) in 2019."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

2. Development of Substance Use Disorders By Adolescents Estimated Using NSDUH Data

"The prevalence of lifetime substance use among adolescents in 2018 was 26.3% (95% CI, 25.4-27.2) for alcohol, 15.4% (95% CI, 14.7-16.1) for cannabis, and 13.4% (95% CI, 12.7-14.1) for tobacco; among young adults in 2018, prevalence of lifetime substance use was 79.7% (95% CI, 78.9- 80.5) for alcohol, 51.5% (95% CI, 50.4-52.6) for cannabis, and 5.0% (95% CI, 53.9-56.1) for tobacco. Prevalence of SUDs differed by substance, age group, and time since initiation. Adjusted prevalence of cannabis use disorder was higher among adolescents than among young adults within 12 months of initiation (10.7%; 95% CI, 9.3-12.3 vs. 6.4%; 95% CI, 5.2-7.9) and at more than 36 months (20.1% [95% CI, 18.0-22.3] vs. 10.9% [95% CI, 10.3-11.4]) (Table). Prevalence of alcohol use disorder and nicotine dependence did not differ between the 2 groups within 12 months of initiation but was higher for young adults in subsequent periods.

"Among young adults, prevalence of lifetime cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin use in 2018 was 11.4% (95% CI, 10.7-12.1), 2.5% (95% CI, 2.2-2.8), and 1.3% (95% CI, 1.1-1.5), respectively. Within 12 months of initiation, adjusted prevalence was higher for methamphetamine use disorder (24.8% [95% CI, 16.8-34.9]) and heroin use disorder (30.9% [95% CI, 20.6-43.4]) than for cocaine use disorder (5.6% [95% CI, 4.2-7.4]). Estimates for adolescents were not reported owing to limited samples.

"Prevalence of lifetime misuse of prescription drugs in 2014 was 9.2% (95% CI, 8.7-9.7) among adolescents and 26.3% (95% CI, 25.4-27.2) among young adults. Among the population with lifetime misuse, adjusted prevalence of prescription opioid use disorder, prescription stimulant use disorder, and prescription tranquilizer use disorder were consistently higher for adolescents than for young adults (Figure). Prevalence since time of initiation for adolescents was stable for prescription opioid use disorder and decreased for prescription stimulant use disorder and prescription tranquilizer use disorder, whereas for young adults, prevalence increased for prescription opioid use disorder and was stable for prescription stimulant use disorder and prescription tranquilizer use disorder."

Volkow ND, Han B, Einstein EB, Compton WM. Prevalence of Substance Use Disorders by Time Since First Substance Use Among Young People in the US. JAMA Pediatr. Published online March 29, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.6981

3. Illegal Drug Use and Marijuana Use in Lifetime, Past Year, and Past Month in the US

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health is conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. According to NSDUH, in 2019:
138,027 people in the US aged 12 and older had used an illegal drug or marijuana in their lifetimes.
57,203 had used an illegal drug or marijuana in the previous year.
35,803 had used an illegal drug or marijuana in the previous month.

In 2018:
134,791 people in the US aged 12 and older had used an illegal drug or marijuana in their lifetimes.
53,182 had used an illegal drug in the previous year.
31,918 had used an illegal drug in the previous month.

NSDUH also reported that in 2019:
127,139 people in the US aged 12 or older had used marijuana in their lifetimes.
48,242 had used marijuana in the previous year.
31,606 had used marijuana in the previous month.

In 2018:
123,935 people in the US aged 12 or older had used marijuana in their lifetimes.
43,486 had used marijuana in the previous year.
27,667 had used marijuana in the previous month.

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2020). Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

4. Prevalence Of Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs In The US

"The 2019 NSDUH assessed the use and misuse of psychotherapeutic drugs currently or recently available by prescription in the United States, including prescription stimulants, tranquilizers or sedatives (e.g., benzodiazepines), and pain relievers. In NSDUH, misuse of prescription drugs was defined as use in any way not directed by a doctor, including use without a prescription of one’s own; use in greater amounts, more often, or longer than told to take a drug; or use in any other way not directed by a doctor. Misuse of over-the-counter drugs was not included.

"Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage who misused prescription psychotherapeutic drugs in the past year declined from 7.1 percent (or 18.9 million people) in 2015 to 5.9 percent (or 16.3 million people) in 2019 (2019 DT 7.2). These estimates in 2019 were lower than those in 2015 to 2017, but they were similar to those in 2018.

"Of the prescription drugs presented in this report, prescription pain relievers were the most commonly misused by people aged 12 or older. The 16.3 million people in 2019 who misused prescription psychotherapeutic drugs in the past year included 9.7 million people who misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people who misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people who misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives (including 4.8 million past year misusers of benzodiazepines) (Figure 10)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

5. Current Marijuana and Other Substance Use and Trends in the US

"Among people aged 12 or older in 2019, 60.1 percent (or 165.4 million people) used a substance (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, kratom, or an illicit drug) in the past month. In particular, 50.8 percent (or 139.7 million people) drank alcohol in the past month, 21.1 percent (or 58.1 million people) used a tobacco product in the past month, and 13.0 percent (or 35.8 million people) used an illicit drug in the past month. In addition, 0.3 percent (or 825,000 people) used kratom in the past month."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

6. Estimated Number of Persons in the US with a Substance Use Disorder

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage with a past year substance use disorder (SUD) (i.e., alcohol use disorder, illicit drug use disorder, or both) remained stable between 2015 and 2019. Among the 20.4 million people aged 12 or older with a past year SUD in 2019, 71.1 percent (or 14.5 million people) had a past year alcohol use disorder, 40.7 percent (or 8.3 million people) had a past year illicit drug use disorder, and 11.8 percent (or 2.4 million people) had both an alcohol use disorder and an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage with a past year alcohol use disorder declined from 7.7 percent (or 18.1 million people) in 2002 to 5.3 percent (or 14.5 million people) in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage with a past year cocaine use disorder declined from 0.6 percent (or 1.5 million people) to 0.4 percent (or 1.0 million people).

"• Among people aged 12 or older, the percentage with a past year prescription pain reliever use disorder decreased from 0.8 percent (or 2.0 million people) in 2015 to 0.5 percent (or 1.4 million people) in 2019. Over that same period, the percentage with a past year opioid use disorder also decreased from 0.9 percent (or 2.4 million people) to 0.6 percent (or 1.6 million people).

"• Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, the percentage with a past year marijuana use disorder declined from 4.3 percent (or 1.1 million people) in 2002 to 2.8 percent (or 699,000 people) in 2019. Among adults aged 26 or older, however, the percentage with a past year marijuana use disorder increased from 0.8 percent (or 1.4 million people) in 2002 to 1.0 percent (or 2.2 million people) in 2019.

"• Among adults aged 26 or older, the percentage with a past year methamphetamine use disorder increased from 0.3 percent (or 539,000 people) in 2016 to 0.4 percent (or 904,000 people) in 2019. The percentage with a past year prescription pain reliever use disorder decreased from 0.7 percent (or 1.5 million people) in 2015 to 0.5 percent (or 1.1 million people) in 2019."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

7. Federal Survey Definitions of Dependence, Abuse, and Drug Use Disorder

"Illicit drug use disorder is defined as meeting DSM-IV criteria for either dependence or abuse for one or more of the following illicit drugs: marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, methamphetamine, or prescription psychotherapeutic drugs that were misused (i.e., stimulants, tranquilizers or sedatives, and pain relievers).44 There are seven possible dependence criteria for specific illicit drugs:

"1. spent a lot of time engaging in activities related to use of the drug,
"2. used the drug in greater quantities or for a longer time than intended,
"3. developed tolerance to the drug,
"4. made unsuccessful attempts to cut down on use of the drug,
"5. continued to use the drug despite physical health or emotional problems associated with use,
"6. reduced or eliminated participation in other activities because of use of the drug, and
"7. experienced withdrawal symptoms when respondents cut back or stopped using the drug.

"For most illicit drugs, dependence is defined as meeting three or more of these seven criteria. However, experiencing withdrawal symptoms is not included as a criterion for some illicit drugs based on DSM-IV criteria. For these substances, dependence is defined as meeting three or more of the first six criteria.

"Respondents who used (or misused) a specific illicit drug in the past 12 months and did not meet the dependence criteria for that drug were defined as having abuse for that drug if they reported one or more of the following:

"1. problems at work, home, or school because of use of the drug;
"2. regularly using the drug and then doing something physically dangerous;
"3. repeated trouble with the law because of use of the drug; and
"4. continued use of the drug despite problems with family or friends."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

8. Estimated Prevalence of Monthly Use of Various Drugs by US Eighth Graders, 1998 through 2020

Table: Estimated Prevalence of Monthly Use of Various Drugs by US Eighth Graders in the US

Johnston, L. D., Miech, R. A., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2021). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use 1975-2020: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.

9. Prevalence of Drug Use Worldwide

"In 2018, an estimated 269 million people worldwide had used drugs at least once in the previous year (range: 166 million to 373 million). This corresponds to 5.4 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 (range: 3.3 to7.5 per cent), representing nearly 1 in every 19 people.

"Over the period 2009–2018, the estimated number of past-year users of any drug globally increased from 210 million (range: 149 million to 272 million) to 269 million (range: 166 million to 373 million) – in other words, by more than a quarter (28 per cent) – partly as a result of growth in the global population. Consequently, the prevalence of drug use increased by over 12 per cent, from 4.8 per cent (range: 3.4 to 6.2 per cent) of the adult population in 2009 to 5.4 per cent (range: 3.3 to 7.5 per cent) in 2018. However, considering the wide uncertainty intervals of these estimates and that in any given year the global estimates represent the best available data, any comparison of the estimates over time should be undertaken with caution."

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).

10. Estimated Prevalence of Past-Month Substance Use in US by People Aged 12 and Older

In 2019, among people aged 12 and older in the United States:
An estimated 35,803,000 people were past-month users of any illicit drug.
An estimated 31,606,000 people were past-month users of marijuana or hashish.
An estimated 3,101,000 people were past-month users any opioid (including heroin and prescription pain relievers).
An estimated 1,998,000 people were past-month users of cocaine.
An estimated 58,074,000 people were past-month users of tobacco products.
An estimated 139,727,000 people were past-month alcohol users, of whom 65,845,000 were "binge drinkers" (binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks (for males) or four or more drinks (for females) on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days), of whom 16,044,000 were "heavy" alcohol users (heavy alcohol use is defined as binge drinking on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days).

Table: Estimated Prevalence of Past-Month Substance Use in US by Those Aged 12 and Older (Numbers In Thousands)

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2020). Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

11. Marijuana Use Prevalence and Trends Among Youth in the US

"• Figure 5-4a and Table 5-5d provide trends in daily marijuana use, defined as using marijuana on 20 or more occasions in the prior 30 days. Among 12th grade students, the 2019 level of 6.4% is the highest level recorded by the survey since 2013. About one in every 16 twelfth grade students in 2019 was a daily or near-daily marijuana user. Daily marijuana use significantly increased in 8th and 10th grade in 2019, to 1.3% and 4.8%, respectively.

"In context, the percentage of youth using marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis today is substantially lower than its peak in the late 1970s, when it reached a high of 10.7% among 12th grade students, or about one in every nine students. As discussed in Chapter 8, we think much of the decline from this peak is attributable to a very substantial increase in teens’ concerns about possible adverse effects from regular use and to a growing perception that peers disapproved of marijuana use, particularly regular use. In recent years teens have reported less concern about marijuana’s potential adverse effects and less disapproval of it (reported in Chapter 8), and daily use has risen considerably since the early 1990s.

"• Table 5-4 presents trend data on lifetime daily marijuana use for a month or more (this question is asked only of 12th grade students and on only one form). Prevalence in 2019 (15%) is between the high of 21% (set in 1982, when first measured by the survey) and the low of 8% (set in 1992, just before the 1990s drug relapse). Before 2011, prevalence hovered at around 16% since 1996, then rose in 2011 and 2012 along with current daily use, before declining some and then remaining stable in recent years. In a pattern seen with many other drugs, prevalence increased considerably during the 1990s relapse (from 1992 to 1997) having decreased considerably prior to the relapse.

"• Medical marijuana prescriptions for adolescents have been surveyed since 2017 and are rare. In all grades and in all years, fewer than 1.5% of adolescents reported that they had ever used marijuana because a doctor told them to do so.

"• Annual prevalence of synthetic marijuana has decreased dramatically since it was first tracked by Monitoring the Future in 2011 for 12th graders and 2012 for 8th and 10th graders (Table 5-5b and Figure 5-4b). For 12th graders, annual prevalence declined from 11.4% in 2011 to 3.3% in 2019, a drop of more than two-thirds. For 10th graders, annual prevalence declined from 8.8% in 2012 to 2.6% in 2019. For 8th graders the decline was from 4.4% in 2012 to 2.12 in 2019.

"The current 2.7% level in 8th grade reflects a significant 1.1 percentage point increase in 2019, which is concerning. It may be that 8th graders are confusing synthetic marijuana with marijuana vaping, which increased significantly in 2019 (discussed below). This could explain the unusual finding of a slightly higher prevalence among 8th as compared to 10th grade students."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

12. Prevalence of Substance Use Among Young People in the US by Race/Ethnicity

"For a number of years, 12th grade African-American students reported lifetime, annual, 30-day, and daily prevalence levels for nearly all drugs that were lower – sometimes dramatically so – than those for White or Hispanic 12th graders. That is less true today, with levels of drug use among African Americans more similar to the other groups. This narrowing of the gap between African Americans and other two racial/ethnic groups is also seen in 8th and 10th grade, indicating that this narrowing in 12th grade is almost certainly not due primarily to differential dropout rates.

"• Whites have the lowest levels of annual marijuana use in 8th grade, at 8% compared to 11.6% and 14.3% for African American and Hispanic students, respectively. In 10th and 12th grade annual marijuana use differs little by race/ethnicity.

"• A number of drugs are much less popular among African-American teens than among White teens, particularly at the higher grades. These include nicotine vaping, marijuana vaping, use of hallucinogens, nonmedical use of sedatives (barbiturates), tranquilizers, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), nonmedical use of amphetamines, narcotics other than heroin, cocaine, and cocaine other than crack.

"• By 12th grade, White students have the highest lifetime and annual prevalence levels among the three major racial/ethnic groups for many substances, including alcohol use, being drunk, vaping nicotine, vaping marijuana, LSD, hallucinogens other than LSD, MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), and nonmedical use of narcotics other than heroin, amphetamines, and tranquilizers. Not all of these findings are replicated at lower grade levels, however. See Tables 4-5 and 4-6 for specifics.

"• Hispanics in 2019 had the highest annual prevalence at all three grade levels for synthetic marijuana, cocaine, crack, and cocaine other than crack. It bears repeating that Hispanics have a considerably higher dropout rate than Whites or African Americans, based on Census Bureau statistics, which should tend to diminish any such differences by 12th grade, yet there remain sizeable differences even in the upper grades.

"• In 8th grade – before most dropping out occurs – Hispanics had the highest levels of use of almost all substances, whereas by 12th grade Whites have the highest levels of use of most. Certainly the considerably higher dropout rate among Hispanics could help explain this shift. Another explanation worth consideration is that Hispanics may tend to start using drugs at a younger age, but Whites overtake them at older ages. These explanations are not mutually exclusive, of course, and to some degree both explanations may hold true.

"• Table 4-8 shows that White students have by far the highest prevalence of daily cigarette smoking while African American and Hispanic students are fairly close to each other among all three grades, for example, 12th grade Whites have a 3.5% daily smoking prevalence, Hispanics, 1.9%, and African Americans, 1.8%.

"• Thirty-day prevalence of smokeless tobacco use is highest among White students in 10th and 12th grade. The difference is quite pronounced in 12th grade, with prevalence rates of 5.6% for White students versus 1.5% for Hispanic and 1.3% for African American students.

"• African-American students have the lowest 30-day prevalence for alcohol use in all three grades. They also have the lowest prevalence for self-reports of having been drunk during the prior 30 days. The differences are largest at 12th grade, with 22% of Whites reporting having been drunk, 12% of Hispanics, and 11% of African Americans.

"• Recent binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a row during the prior two weeks) is also lowest among African Americans in all three grades; in 12th grade, their level of use is 6.7% versus 18% for Whites and 11% for Hispanics. The corresponding prevalence levels for 10th grade are 4.2% for African Americans vs. 9.7% for Whites and 9.3% for Hispanics. In 8th grade, Hispanics have the highest prevalence at 5.3% compared to 3.4% for Whites and 1.9% for African Americans.

"• Hispanic students have markedly lower levels of use for drugs used to treat ADHD than do White and African American students. In 2019 prevalence of use for either stimulant or non-stimulant prescription ADHD drugs was 5.5% among Hispanic students as compared to 12% for White students and 15% for African American students. Use of either of these drugs in the past 30 days is also much lower for Hispanic students, who have a prevalence level of 1.9% as compared to 5.8% for White students and 5.0% for African American students. As to why Hispanic students are less likely to be treated with ADHD drugs than White and African American students, possible contributing factors include Hispanic families being less likely to get access to, or be able to afford, professional assessment and treatment.

"• Levels of past-year use for diet pills did not differ much by race/ethnicity in 2019. They varied between a narrow range of 1.5% for Hispanic students and 2.5% for African American students, with White students in the middle at 2.0%."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

13. Marijuana Legalization May Lead To Decreased Use By Young People

"Consistent with the results of previous researchers,2 there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the Table showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with findings by Dilley et al4 and with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.6"

Anderson DM, Hansen B, Rees DI, Sabia JJ. Association of Marijuana Laws With Teen Marijuana Use: New Estimates From the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. JAMA Pediatr. Published online July 08, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1720

14. Drug-Related Mortality Worldwide

"Of the estimated 585,000 deaths attributed to drug use in 2017, half are attributed to liver cancer, cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases related to hepatitis C, which remains mostly untreated among PWID. Deaths attributed to drug use disorders (167,000) account for 28 per cent of all deaths resulting from drug use; 110,000 or 66 per cent of those deaths are attributable to opioids. Over the past decade, the total number of deaths attributed to drug use has increased by a quarter, with a major increase in deaths caused by opioid use disorders (71 per cent increase), followed by cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases (55 per cent increase) and liver cancer (46 per cent) resulting from hepatitis C.

"The comparison of deaths attributed to drug use among men and women over the past decade shows that the number of deaths attributed to drug use disorders, in particular opioid use disorders, has increased disproportionately among women, with a 92 per cent increase in deaths attributed to opioid use disorders among women compared with a 63 per cent increase among men."

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).

15. Estimated Age of Initiation of Substance Use By People in the US Aged 12 Or Older

"The illicit drugs with the largest number of recent initiates in 2016 were marijuana (2.6 million new users), prescription pain relievers (2.1 million new misusers), prescription tranquilizers (1.4 million new misusers), prescription stimulants (1.4 million new misusers), hallucinogens (1.2 million new users), and cocaine (1.1 million new users). In addition, there were 4.6 million new users of alcohol, 1.8 million people who tried a cigarette for the first time in the past year, and 1.2 million people who first used smokeless tobacco in the past year.34

"Figure 12 provides an overview of the average age at first use (or first misuse for prescription drugs) in 2016 among recent initiates aged 12 to 49. For many substances, the average age at initiation in 2016 was younger than age 20, with average ages of 17.4 years for alcohol, 18.0 years for cigarettes, 18.2 years for inhalants, 19.3 years for marijuana, and 19.6 years for any hallucinogen. However, some substances had older average initiation ages, such as methamphetamine (24.6 years) and heroin (25.5 years). The average ages at initiation for prescription drug misuse were in the early to mid-20s (23.9 years for prescription tranquilizers, 24.3 years for prescription stimulants, 24.4 years for prescription pain relievers, and 24.8 years for prescription sedatives)."

Lipari, R. N., Ahrnsbrak, R. D., Pemberton, M. R., & Porter, J. D. (2017, September). Risk and protective factors and estimates of substance use initiation: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. NSDUH Data Review, pp. 10-11.

16. Perceived Risk and Prevalence of Crack Use and Among Young People in the US

"Crack cocaine use spread rapidly from the early to mid-1980s. Still, among 12th graders, the use of crack remained relatively low during this period (3.9% annual prevalence in 1987). Clearly, crack had quickly attained a reputation as a dangerous drug, and by the time of our first measurement of perceived risk in 1987, it was seen as the most dangerous of all drugs. Annual prevalence dropped sharply in the next few years, reaching 1.5% by 1991, where it remained through 1993. Perceived risk began a long and substantial decline after 1990 – again serving as a driver and leading indicator of use. (The decline in perceived risk in this period may well reflect generational forgetting of the dangers of this drug.)

"Annual prevalence among 12th graders rose gradually after 1993, from 1.5% to 2.7% by 1999. It finally declined slightly in 2000 and then held level through 2007. Since then, some additional decline has occurred. In 2016, annual prevalence for crack cocaine was at 0.8%.

"Among 8th and 10th graders, crack use rose gradually in the 1990s: from 0.7% in 1991 to 2.1% by 1998 among 8th graders, and from 0.9% in 1992 to 2.5% in 1998 among 10th graders. And, as just discussed, use among 12th graders peaked in 1999 at 2.7% and among young adults at 1.4%. Since those peak years, crack use has declined appreciably -- more than half among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders -- yet it held fairly steady among college students and young adults, at least until 2007, when use among college students finally began to decline. The 2016 prevalence levels for this drug were relatively low – less than 1% in all five groups. Twelfth graders had the highest prevalence. Annual crack prevalence among the college-bound has generally been considerably lower than among those not bound for college. Among 12th graders, the levels of use in 2016 were 0.7% for college-bound and 1.2% for noncollege-bound.

"We believe that the particularly intense and early media coverage of the hazards of crack cocaine likely had the effect of capping an epidemic early by deterring many would-be users and motivating many experimenters to desist use. As has been mentioned, when we first measured crack use in 1987, it had the highest level of perceived risk of any illicit drug. Also, it did not turn out to be “instantly addicting” upon first-time use, as had been widely reported. In some earlier years, 1994 and 1995 for example, 3% of 12th graders reported ever trying crack; however, only about 2% used in the prior 12 months and only about 1.0% used in the prior 30 days. It thus appears that, among the small numbers of 12th graders who have ever tried crack, the majority of those who tried it did not establish a pattern of continued use, let alone develop an addiction."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2016: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 20-21.

17. Estimated Prevalence of Current Illegal Drug Use In The US By People Aged 12 Or Older

"In 2018, an estimated 164.8 million people aged 12 or older used a substance (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, or an illicit drug) in the past month (Figure 1). This number of current substance users corresponds to 60.2 percent of the population. About 2 out of 5 people aged 12 or older (108.9 million, or 39.8 percent) did not use substances in the past month.

"The 164.8 million current substance users in 2018 include 139.8 million people who drank alcohol, 58.8 million people who used a tobacco product, and 31.9 million people who used an illicit drug (2018 DT 7.3). These numbers are not mutually exclusive because respondents could have used more than one type of substance (e.g., tobacco products and alcohol) in the past month.

"Although about half of the people aged 12 or older (51.1 percent) drank alcohol in the past month and 1 in 5 (21.5 percent) used a tobacco product, use of illicit drugs was less common (Table A.1B). About 1 in 9 people aged 12 or older (11.7 percent) used an illicit drug in the past month."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/
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18. Estimated Prevalence of Crack and Cocaine Use by Young People in the US

"Crack, a form of cocaine that comes in small chunks or 'rocks,' can be smoked to produce a rapid and intense but short-lasting high. In 2015 it had lifetime prevalence levels of under 2% in all three grade levels: 1.0% for 8th, 1.1% for 10th, and 1.7% for 12th graders.
"Of all students reporting any cocaine use in their lifetime, significant proportions have some experience with crack: Nearly two thirds of 8th-grade cocaine users (63%), two fifths of 10th-grade users (41%) and more than two fifths of 12th-grade users (43%) reported having used crack (data derivable from Table 4-1)."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2016). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2015: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Page 93. Available at
http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

19. Prevalence of Current Alcohol Use In The US, 2015

"In 2015, 138.3 million Americans aged 12 or older reported current use of alcohol, 66.7 million reported binge alcohol use in the past month, and 17.3 million reported heavy alcohol use in the past month (Figure 21). Thus, nearly half of current alcohol users reported binge alcohol use (48.2 percent), and about 1 in 8 current alcohol users reported heavy alcohol use (12.5 percent). Among binge alcohol users, about 1 in 4 (26.0 percent) were heavy users.

"Current Alcohol Use
"The estimate of 138.3 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2015 (Figure 21) corresponds to alcohol use in the past month by slightly more than half (51.7 percent) of people aged 12 or older (Figure 22). The 2015 estimate of past month alcohol use was similar to the estimate in 2005 to 2013, but it was lower than the 2014 estimate."

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51.

20. Prevalence of Marijuana Use among People in the US Aged 12 or Older

In 2015:
an estimated 117,865,000 people aged 12 or older in the US had tried marijuana at least once in their lifetimes.
an estimated 36,043,000 people aged 12 or older in the US had tried marijuana at least once in the past year.
an estimated 22,226,000 people aged 12 or older in the US had tried marijuana at least once in the past month.

Click here for the complete datatable "Marijuana Use in Lifetime, Past Year, and Past Month among Persons in the US Aged 12 or Older, by Demographic Characteristics: Number in Thousands"

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD, p. 242, Table 1.33A.
https://www.samhsa.gov...
https://www.samhsa.gov...

21. Substance Use Among Black Adults In The US, 2002-2008

"Trends in Substance Use
"Past month alcohol use, binge alcohol use, and illicit drug use remained relatively stable among black adults between 2002 and 2008 (Figure1).4,5

"Past Month Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use
"Combined 2004 to 2008 data indicate that, in the past month, 44.3 percent of black adults used alcohol, 21.7 percent reported binge alcohol use, and 9.5 percent used an illicit drug (Figure 2).

"Rates of past month alcohol use and binge alcohol use were lower among black adults than the national averages. The rate of past month illicit drug use among black adults, however, was higher than the national average.

"Substance Use among Young Adults (Aged 18 to 25)
"Rates of past month and binge alcohol use were considerably lower among young black adults than the national average of young adults (48.6 vs. 61.1 percent and 25.3 vs. 41.6 percent, respectively) (Figure 3).

"Past month illicit drug use among young black adults was slightly lower than the national average (18.7 vs. 19.7 percent).

"Substance Use among Older Adults (Aged 65 or Older)
"Older black adults had a rate of past month alcohol use that was considerably lower than the national average of older adults (20.3 vs. 38.3 percent) (Figure 4). Their rates of binge alcohol use and past month illicit drug use, however, did not differ significantly from the national averages.

"Substance Use among Women
"Compared with the national averages, adult black females had lower rates of past month alcohol use and binge alcohol use and a slightly higher rate of past month illicit drug use (Table 1). Patterns varied by age group.

"Among women aged 18 to 44 who were pregnant at the time of the survey interview, blacks had a higher rate of binge alcohol use than the national average (8.1 vs. 3.6 percent) (Figure 5). As for past month alcohol use and past month illicit drug use, the rates appear to have been higher than the national average of pregnant women, but the differences were not statistically significant.

"Substance Use among Men
"Compared with the national averages, adult black males had lower rates of past month alcohol use and binge alcohol use and a slightly higher rate of past month illicit drug use (Table 2). Patterns varied by age group."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (February 18, 2010). The NSDUH Report: Substance Use among Black Adults. Rockville, MD.

22. Prevalence of Drug Use in the US by Race/Ethnicity

"• In 2013, among persons aged 12 or older, the rate of current illicit drug use was 3.1 percent among Asians, 8.8 percent among Hispanics, 9.5 percent among whites, 10.5 percent among blacks, 12.3 percent among American Indians or Alaska Natives, 14.0 percent among Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, and 17.4 percent among persons reporting two or more races.
"• There were no statistically significant differences in the rates of current illicit drug use between 2012 and 2013 for any of the racial/ethnic groups. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 8.5 to 9.5 percent for whites. Among blacks, the rate increased from 8.7 percent in 2003 and 2004 to 10.5 percent in 2013 (Figure 2.12)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 26.
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/si...
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/si...

23. Substance Use by Hispanic Youth in the US

"Fifty-two percent of Hispanic youth report using illicit drugs in the past year (vs. 42 percent for African-American youth and 40 percent for Caucasian teens). They are also more likely than other teens to have used prescription medicine, Ecstasy or cocaine/crack to get high.
"Marijuana use levels are of significant concern among Hispanic youth. Half of Hispanic teens report smoking marijuana in the past year (43 percent more than Caucasian teens and 25 percent more than African-American youth)."

"The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study: 2011 Parents and Teens Full Report," MetLife Foundation and The Partnership at Drugfree.org (New York, NY: May 2, 2012), p. 8.
http://www.drugfree.org/wp-con...

24. Estimated Prevalence of Current Tobacco Use Among Pregnant Women in the US

"• The annual average rate of past month cigarette use in 2012 and 2013 among women aged 15 to 44 who were pregnant was 15.4 percent (Figure 4.5). The rate of current cigarette use among women aged 15 to 44 who were pregnant was lower than that among women who were not pregnant (24.0 percent). This pattern was also evident among women aged 18 to 25 (21.0 vs. 26.2 percent for pregnant and nonpregnant women, respectively) and among women aged 26 to 44 (11.8 vs. 25.4 percent, respectively). Rates of current cigarette use in 2012-2013 among pregnant women aged 15 to 44 were 19.9 percent in the first trimester, 13.4 percent in the second trimester, and 12.8 percent in the third trimester.
"• The annual average rates of current cigarette use among women aged 15 to 44 who were not pregnant decreased from 30.7 percent in 2002-2003 to 24.0 percent in 2012-2013 (Figure 4.5). However, the prevalence of cigarette use among pregnant women in this age range did not change significantly during the same time period (18.0 percent in 2002-2003 and 15.4 percent in 2012-2013)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 37.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

25. Trends in Prevalence of Current Heroin Use in the US

"The estimate of current heroin use in 2015 among people aged 12 or older was higher than the estimates in most years between 2002 and 2009, but it was similar to the estimates between 2010 and 2014 (Figure 8). However, even when there was a statistically significant difference between the 2015 estimate and prior years, the percentages were approximately the same, except for the estimate in 2014 (0.2 percent). For example, all of these estimates for current heroin use rounded to 0.1 percent. In 2014, the estimate of current heroin use was higher than in all previous years; however, the 2015 estimate does not provide strong support that the increase in 2014 signaled the start of a change in the trend. Future survey years will be useful for monitoring this trend.
"The estimate of past year heroin use in 2015 (0.3 percent) was also higher than the estimates for most years between 2002 and 2008, but it was similar to the estimates between 2009 and 2014 (Figure 9). This shift in heroin use among people aged 12 or older reflects changes in heroin use by adults aged 26 or older and, to a lesser extent, smaller increases in heroin use among young adults aged 18 to 25."

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). pp. 10-11. Retrieved from
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...

26. Estimated Substance Use In The US By Gender

"• In 2013, as in prior years, the rate of current illicit drug use among persons aged 12 or older was higher for males (11.5 percent) than for females (7.3 percent). Males were more likely than females to be current users of several different illicit drugs, including marijuana (9.7 vs. 5.6 percent), cocaine (0.8 vs. 0.4 percent), and hallucinogens (0.7 vs. 0.3 percent).
"• In 2013, the rate of current illicit drug use was higher for males than females aged 12 to 17 (9.6 vs. 8.0 percent). This represents a change from 2012, when the rates of current illicit drug use were similar among males and females aged 12 to 17 (9.6 and 9.5 percent, respectively), and reflects a decrease in the rate of current illicit drug use among females from 2012 to 2013. Likewise, in 2013, the rate of current marijuana use was higher for males than females aged 12 to 17 (7.9 vs. 6.2 percent), which is a change from 2012 when the rates of current marijuana use for males and females were similar (7.5 and 7.0 percent).
"• The rate of current marijuana use among males aged 12 to 17 declined from 9.1 percent in 2002 to 6.9 percent in 2006, then increased between 2006 and 2011 (9.0 percent) (Figure 2.11). The rate decreased from 2011 to 2012 (7.5 percent) and remained stable in 2013 (7.9 percent). Among females aged 12 to 17, the rate of current marijuana use decreased from 7.2 percent in 2002 and 2003 to 6.2 percent in 2013."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 25.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

27. Estimated Prevalence of Marijuana Use in the US

"As noted in the illicit drug use section, an estimated 22.2 million Americans aged 12 or older in 2015 were current users of marijuana (Figure 1). This number of past month marijuana users corresponds to 8.3 percent of the population aged 12 or older (Figure 3). The percentage of people aged 12 or older who were current marijuana users in 2015 was similar to the percentage in 2014, but it was higher than the percentages from 2002 to 2013. This increase in marijuana use among people aged 12 or older reflects the increase in marijuana use by adults aged 26 or older and, to a lesser extent, increases in marijuana use among young adults aged 18 to 25."

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Page 7. Retrieved from
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...

28. Prevalence of Marijuana Use Among Full-Time Workers in the US

"• An estimated 6.4 percent, or 7.3 million, of full-time workers reported use of marijuana during the past month (Tables 2.2 and 2.3).
"• Adults aged 26 to 34 were only about half as likely as 18- to 25-year-olds to be past month marijuana users (8.0 vs. 15.9 percent). Past month use of marijuana was lower with increasing age (Table 2.2).
"• The prevalence of past month marijuana use was higher for males than females (7.9 vs. 4.3 percent, respectively) (Table 2.2).
"• An estimated 11.0 percent of workers reporting two or more races used marijuana during the past month. This was higher than among non-Hispanic white adults (6.9 percent). Fewer Hispanic adults (4.6 percent) reported past month marijuana use than non-Hispanic white adults who reported two or more races (Table 2.2).
"• Higher educational attainment and higher family income were associated with a lower prevalence of current marijuana use (Table 2.3)."

Larson, S. L., Eyerman, J., Foster, M. S., & Gfroerer, J. C. (2007). Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs (DHHS Publication No. SMA 07-4273, Analytic Series A-29). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, pp. 15-16.
http://adaiclearinghouse.org/d...

29. Prevalence of Daily Or Almost Daily Marijuana Use in the US

"• In 2013, 5.7 million persons aged 12 or older used marijuana on a daily or almost daily basis in the past 12 months (i.e., on 300 or more days in that period), which was an increase from the 3.1 million daily or almost daily users in 2006 (Figure 2.15). The number of daily or almost daily users of marijuana in 2013 represented 17.4 percent of past year users.
"• In 2013, 8.1 million persons aged 12 or older used marijuana on 20 or more days in the past month, which was an increase from the 5.1 million daily or almost daily past month users in 2005 to 2007 (Figure 2.15). The number of daily or almost daily users in 2013 represented 41.1 percent of past month marijuana users."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 30.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

30. Global Prevalence of Marijuana Use

"Worldwide, there were an estimated 192 million past-year users of cannabis in 2018, corresponding to 3.9 per cent of the global population aged 15–64. The past-year use of cannabis is substantially higher than the global average in North America (14.6 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (10.6 per cent) and West and Central Africa (9.3 per cent).

"In 2009, cannabis use was reported to be stabilizing or declining in countries with established cannabis markets, such as in Western and Central Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand, but that trend was offset by increasing use in many countries in Africa and Asia.21 A decade later, cannabis use in Western and Central Europe has remained stable overall and has increased considerably in North America, Africa and Asia.22"

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).

31. Estimated Prevalence of Current Cocaine Use in the US

"In this report, estimates of the use of cocaine include use of crack cocaine. Estimates also are presented separately for crack use. In 2015, the estimate of about 1.9 million people aged 12 or older who were current users of cocaine (Figure 1) included about 394,000 current users of crack. These numbers correspond to about 0.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older who were current users of cocaine (Figure 7) and 0.1 percent who were current users of crack (Table A.1B in Appendix A). The 2015 estimate for current cocaine use was similar to the estimates in most years between 2007 and 2013, but it was higher than the estimate in 2014. The 2015 estimate of crack use was similar to the estimates in most years from 2008 to 2014. The 2015 estimates of both cocaine and crack use were lower than most of the estimates between 2002 and 2006."

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Page 9. Retrieved from
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...

32. Initiation of Cocaine or Crack Use in the US, 2013

"• In 2013, there were 601,000 persons aged 12 or older who had used cocaine for the first time within the past 12 months; this averages to approximately 1,600 initiates per day. This estimate was similar to the number in 2008 to 2012 (ranging from 623,000 to 724,000). The annual number of cocaine initiates in 2013 was lower than the estimates from 2002 through 2007 (ranging from 0.9 million to 1.0 million).
"• The number of initiates of crack cocaine ranged from 209,000 to 353,000 in 2002 to 2008 and declined to 95,000 in 2009. The number of initiates of crack cocaine has been similar each year since 2009 (e.g., 58,000 in 2013).
"• In 2013, most (81.9 percent) of the 0.6 million recent cocaine initiates were aged 18 or older when they first used. The average age at first use among recent initiates aged 12 to 49 was 20.4 years. The average age estimates have remained fairly stable since 2002."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 62.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

33. Attitudes Toward Decriminalization and Legalization of Marijuana Among US 12th Graders

"• In 2018 the proportion of 12th graders who favor legalization of marijuana was 48%, about the same as the record of 49% set in the previous year. Support for legalization has been steadily and rapidly increasing since 2008, when it was near 30%. Prior to 2008, support followed a U-shape curve, in which support levels near 30% were present at the beginning of the survey, in 1975, then dipped by half to a nadir of 15% in 1986-88, only to redouble and return to around 30% by 1995, where it hovered for a decade before rising considerably.

"• The proportion of 12th grade students who favor treating marijuana use as a crime is at the lowest level ever recorded by the survey (11%), and its trend is a mirror image of the pattern seen for support of marijuana legalization. Back around 1990 as many as 50% thought its use should be a crime.

"• Given that the percentage of 12th grade students who support legalization has never exceeded 50% in the 44 years of this study, some of the greater tolerance for marijuana use among adults21 apparently develops after the high school years.

"• The recent trend toward greater tolerance of marijuana use is also seen in the proportion of 12th grade students who support the sale of marijuana to adults, conditional on its use being legalized. In 2018 this proportion was 55%, the same level as in 2017 and the highest level ever recorded by the study (Table 8-8). In past years, support had reached a nadir of 38% in 1989, and then gradually increased to present levels, with a decade-long plateau between 1995 and 2005.

"• It is likely that the growing number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults plays a role in the increasing tolerance of marijuana use among 12th grade students, who may interpret increasing legalization as a sign that marijuana use is safe and state-sanctioned.

"• In 2018, 9% of 12th graders predicted they would use marijuana if it were legally available (Table 8-8). This is the second highest level recorded for this measure, with the record of 10% set last year. The percentage who predicted they would try marijuana if it were legal reached a historic high in 2018, at 16%. The percentage who reported they would not use marijuana even if it were legal significantly declined to 45%, a record low. Previous to 2018 these outcomes had been fairly similar for all graduating classes. The slight shifts that did occur were attributable mostly to the changing proportions of 12th graders who had actually used marijuana."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2019). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2018: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at
http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

34. Global Prevalence of Cocaine Use

"Globally, an estimated 19 million people were past-year users of cocaine in 2018, corresponding to 0.4 per cent of the global population aged 15–64. The main cocaine markets continue to be North America and Western and Central Europe, with a prevalence of use of 2.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, while the highest prevalence of past-year cocaine use is in Australia and New Zealand, at 2.2 per cent of the population aged 15–64. Cocaine use is also higher than the global average in Central America (0.7 per cent) and South America (1.0 per cent)."

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).

35. Global Opioid Use Rates

"In 2018, 57.8 million people globally were estimated to have used opioids in the past year, a figure that includes those who had used opiates (30.4 million) and those who had misused pharmaceutical opioids.32 This corresponds to a past-year prevalence of opioid use of 1.2 per cent of the global population aged 15–64. The use of opioids is higher than the global average in North America (3.6 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (3.3 per cent), the Near and Middle East and South-West Asia (2.6 per cent) and South Asia (2.0 per cent). The population of South Asia accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 and more than one third of the estimated number of opioid users worldwide live in that subregion.

"The past-year prevalence of opiate use is higher than the global average (0.6 per cent) in the Near and Middle East and South-West Asia (1.8 per cent) and South Asia (1.1 per cent), two subregions that together account for almost 60 per cent of the estimated number of opiate users worldwide.

"Although global estimates are not available, the nonmedical use of pharmaceutical opioids is reported in many countries, in particular in countries in West and North Africa and the Near and Middle East (tramadol), and in North America (hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, tramadol and fentanyl)."

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).

36. Global Prevalence of Injection Drug Use-Related HIV

"Injecting drug use is estimated to account for approximately 10 per cent of HIV infections worldwide and 30 per cent of all HIV cases outside Africa,113 while in the eastern countries of the WHO European Region114 more than 80 per cent of all HIV infections occur among PWID.115 PWID are estimated to be 22 times more likely than people in the general population to be living with HIV.116

"The 2018 joint UNODC/WHO/UNAIDS/World Bank estimate of the global prevalence of HIV among PWID is 12.6 per cent, amounting to 1.4 million PWID living with HIV. This estimate is based on reporting of the prevalence of HIV among PWID by 121 countries, covering 96 per cent of the estimated global number of PWID. Data on HIV prevalence were available for all PWID in North America, South-West Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe and South-Eastern Europe, but only for 33 and 32 per cent of all PWID in Central America and the Caribbean, respectively. Of all the countries that provided details of the methodology used to collect their data and estimate the prevalence of HIV, almost three quarters (reports from 89 countries) could be graded as “class A methodology” (seroprevalence study).117 In 2018, new or updated estimates of HIV among PWID were available for a total of 40 countries."

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).

37. Attitudes of Young People Toward Legalization of Marijuana

"• Table 8-8 lists the proportions of 12th graders in 2019 who favor various legal consequences for marijuana use. The proportion who believe it should be entirely legal was 51%, the highest level recorded by the survey. As the percentage favoring legality increased, the percentage believing marijuana use should be a crime decreased and in 2019 was 9%, the lowest level recorded by the survey, having fallen from a peak of 53% in 1990.

"• Asked whether they thought it should be legal to sell marijuana if it were legal to use it, about two in three (67%) said “yes,” matching the historic high of 67% set in 2017. However, about 87% of those answering “yes” (58% of all respondents) would permit sale only to adults. A small minority (9%) favored the sale to anyone, regardless of age, while 20% said that sale should not be legal even if use were made legal, and 13% said they “don’t know.” Thus, while the majority now subscribe to the idea of legal sale, if use is allowed, the great majority agree with the notion that sale to underage people should not be legal.

"• Most 12th graders felt that they would be little affected personally by the legalization of either the sale or the use of marijuana. Forty-three percent of the 2019 respondents said that they would not use the drug even if it were legal to buy and use, while others indicated that they would use it about as often as they do now (17%) or less often (1%). Only 10% said they would use it more often than they do at present, while 17% thought they would try it. Another 12% said they did not know how their behavior would be affected if marijuana were legalized. Still, this amounts to 27% of all 12th graders, or about one in four, who thought that they would try marijuana, or that their use would increase, if marijuana were legalized.

"• A study of the effects of decriminalization by several states during the late 1970s, based on MTF data, found no evidence of any impact on the use of marijuana among young people, nor on attitudes and beliefs concerning its use.18 However, it should be noted that decriminalization falls well short of the full legalization posited in the questions here. Moreover, the situation today is very different from the one in the late 1970s, with more peer disapproval and more rigorous enforcement of drug laws, at least until recently. Some more recent studies suggest that there might be an impact of decriminalization, because “youths living in decriminalized states are significantly more likely to report currently using marijuana.”19 One study using MTF data shows that prevalence of marijuana use among 12th grade Californian students significantly increased in the two years after decriminalization went into effect in 2011, and youth attitudes also became significantly more permissive.20 As more states approve full legalization of recreational use for adults (as has occurred in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Maine, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Vermont, and Washington, DC), it is possible that attitudes about, and use of, marijuana will change. Declines in perceived risk and disapproval of marijuana would seem the most likely attitudinal changes, and such changes may well lead to increased use among youth."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

38. Global Prevalence of Injection Drug Use

"The joint UNODC/WHO/UNAIDS/World Bank estimate of the number of PWID worldwide in 2018 is 11.3 million (range: 8.9 million to 15.3 million), corresponding to 0.23 per cent (range: 0.18 to 0.31 per cent) of the population aged 15–64. This estimate is based on the most recent information available and assessment of the methodologies of the different sources.108

"There is no change between the 2017 and 2018 estimates of PWID; however, any trend data must be viewed with caution, as methodologies may have changed. The 2018 global estimate of PWID is based on 122 countries, representing almost 90 per cent of the global population aged 15–64, compared with 110 countries in 2017. Of all the available sources in 2018, the estimates for at least 74 countries (61 per cent) were based on a “class A methodology” such as indirect prevalence estimation methods (e.g., the capture-recapture method, network scale-up method and multiplier method).109 Owing to the criminalization of drug use, punitive laws, stigma and discrimination against people who use or inject drugs in many parts of the world, conventional survey methods have been found to underestimate the actual population size because of the hidden nature of PWID;110, 111, 112 therefore, only indirect methods have been shown to reflect the situation of PWID with greater accuracy. Overall, new or updated estimates of PWID were available for 40 countries in 2018.

"Although the exact extent of injecting drug use is not known, estimates are more precise in some regions than others as a result of better data coverage and/or methodologies and the use of more recent data. Data on PWID vary between the regions in terms of coverage of the total population aged 15–64, with Asia having the highest coverage, at 95 per cent, and Africa having the lowest, at 68 per cent. At the subregional level, North America, South-West Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe and South-Eastern Europe are fully covered, whereas data on PWID in the Caribbean only covers just over one third of the total population; therefore, data from that subregion must be interpreted with caution. Compared with 2017, coverage of the population in Africa increased substantially overall, from 58 to 68 per cent in 2018."

World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).

39. Estimated Prevalence of Current Methamphetamine Use in the US, 2014

Amphetamine-Type Stimulants

"In 2014, the estimated 1.6 million people aged 12 or older who were current nonmedical users of stimulants included 569,000 people who were current methamphetamine users (Figure 8). Thus, almost two thirds of current nonmedical users of stimulants in 2014 who were aged 12 or older reported current nonmedical use of prescription stimulants but not methamphetamine.
"These numbers of nonmedical users of stimulants and methamphetamine users represent 0.6 percent of the population aged 12 or older who were current nonmedical users of stimulants (Figure 9) and 0.2 percent who were current users of methamphetamine in 2014 (Figure 10). The percentage of the population aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current nonmedical users of stimulants was higher than the percentages for most years between 2005 and 2012. Meanwhile, the percentage of the population aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current users of methamphetamine was similar to the percentages for most years between 2002 and 2013."

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50), pp. 8-9.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sit...

40. Global Amphetamine-Type Stimulant Use, 2011

"Use of ATS, excluding 'ecstasy', remains widespread globally, and appears to be increasing. Although prevalence estimates are not available from Asia and Africa, experts from these regions continue to report a perceived increase in the use of ATS. While the use of ATS was already a problem in East and South-East Asia, there are reports of increasing diversion of precursor chemicals, as well as increased seizures and manufacture of methamphetamine, combined with an increase in its use. Current data from the drug use survey in Pakistan, for instance supports this assessment. Use of ATS is emerging in Pakistan, with a reported annual prevalence of 0.1 per cent among the general population.3 High levels of ATS use are reported in Oceania (2.1 per cent in Australia and New Zealand), Central and North America (1.3 per cent each) and Africa (0.9 per cent), while the estimated annual prevalence of ATS use in Asia (0.7 per cent) is comparable with the global average."

UNODC, World Drug Report 2013 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.13.XI.6), p. 2.
https://www.unodc.org/unodc/se...

41. Global Estimated Prevalence of Injection Drug Use, by Region

"At a regional level, a high prevalence of injecting drug use is found in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (1.3 per cent of the population aged 15-64), where the percentage of people who inject drugs is four times greater than the global average and which alone accounts for 21 per cent of the total number of people who inject drugs globally.
"A high prevalence rate for injecting drug use is also noted in Central Asia (1.3 per cent), which has a rate of more than four times the global average. Injecting drug use also remains a serious public health concern in a number of countries in East and South-East Asia, with the region accounting for 27 per cent of the global total. South Asia has the lowest level of injecting drug use (0.03 per cent, mostly as a result of the low prevalence rate reported in India), considerably lower than that of any other region.
"Countries and areas with the highest rates of injecting drug use – more than 3.5 times the global average — are Azerbaijan (5.2 per cent), Seychelles (2.3 per cent), the Russian Federation (2.3 per cent), Estonia (1.5 per cent), Georgia (1.3 per cent), Canada (1.3 per cent), the Republic of Moldova (1.2 per cent), Puerto Rico (1.15 per cent), Latvia (1.15 per cent) and Belarus (1.11 per cent). China, the Russian Federation and the United States are the countries with the largest numbers of people who inject drugs. Combined, they account for an estimated 46 per cent, or nearly one in two, people who inject drugs globally."

UNODC, World Drug Report 2013 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.13.XI.6), pp. 3-5.
https://www.unodc.org/unodc/se...

42. Prevalence of Illicit Drug Use Among Full-Time Employees in the US,

"• The prevalence of past month illicit drug use among adult full-time workers was 8.2 percent (Figure 2.3 and Tables 2.2 and 2.3).
"• Nearly one out of five (19.0 percent) workers aged 18 to 25 used illicit drugs during the past month. This was a higher percentage than among the 26-to-34 (10.3 percent), 35-to-49 (7.0 percent), and 50-to-64 (2.6 percent) age groups (Figure 2.3 and Table 2.2).
"• Males were more likely than females to report past month illicit drug use (9.7 vs. 6.2 percent). Males accounted for about two thirds (6.4 million) of the workers who reported past month illicit drug use (Figure 2.4 and Table 2.2).
"• The prevalence of past month illicit drug use for white adults was 8.8 percent, higher than the prevalence for Asian (2.2 percent) or Hispanic (6.7 percent) adults, and lower than that reported for adults who reported two or more races (13.5 percent). The prevalence of past month illicit drug use by Asians was lower than that reported by all other racial/ethnic groups reported here (Figure 2.5 and Table 2.2)."

Larson, S. L., Eyerman, J., Foster, M. S., & Gfroerer, J. C. (2007). Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs (DHHS Publication No. SMA 07-4273, Analytic Series A-29). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, p. 12.
http://adaiclearinghouse.org/d...

43. Estimated Misuse of Prescription Drugs and Pain Relievers in the US

"About 1.0 percent of people aged 12 or older (2.7 million) had a prescription drug use disorder in the past year, including 2.0 million people with a pain reliever use disorder, 688,000 with a tranquilizer use disorder, 426,000 with a stimulant use disorder, and 154,000 with a sedative use disorder. In 2015, as part of their most recent substance use treatment, 822,000 people received treatment for the misuse of pain relievers, 293,000 people received treatment for tranquilizer misuse, 139,000 received treatment for stimulant misuse, and 116,000 received treatment for sedative misuse.
"Among people aged 12 or older who misused prescription pain relievers in the past year, the most commonly reported reason for their last misuse was to relieve physical pain (62.6 percent). Among past year misusers of tranquilizers, the most commonly reported reasons were to relax or relieve tension (44.9 percent) or to help with sleep (20.4 percent). Commonly reported reasons for misuse among stimulant misusers were to help be alert or stay awake, help concentrate, or help study (26.8, 26.5, and 22.5 percent, respectively). Among past year sedative misusers, the most common reason was to help with sleep (71.7 percent). Even if people misused prescription drugs for conditions for which these drugs are typically prescribed (e.g., for pain relief or to help with sleep), use without one’s own prescription or use more often or at a higher dosage than prescribed nevertheless constitutes misuse.
"Among people aged 12 or older who misused pain relievers in the past year, the most common source for the last pain reliever that was misused was from a friend or relative (53.7 percent), and about one third misused a prescription from one doctor. About 1 in 20 people who misused pain relievers bought the last pain reliever they misused from a drug dealer or stranger."

Hughes, A., Williams, M. R., Lipari, R. N., Bose, J., Copello, E. A. P., & Kroutil, L. A. (2016, September). Prescription drug use and misuse in the United States:
Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. NSDUH Data Review, p. 1. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/si...
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/si...

44. Current Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants in the US, 2013

"• The number and percentage of persons aged 12 or older who were current nonmedical users of stimulants in 2013 (1.4 million or 0.5 percent) were similar to those in 2012 (1.2 million or 0.5 percent), but were higher than the estimates in 2011 (970,000 or 0.4 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 17.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

45. Prevalence of Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse Among Full-Time Workers in the US

"• Approximately 3 million full-time workers (2.6 percent) aged 18 to 64 met the criteria for past year illicit drug dependence or abuse (Figure 2.3 and Table 2.4).

"• Approximately 7.5 percent of 18- to 25-year-old workers had past year illicit drug dependence or abuse. This was higher than among all other age groups studied (26- to 34-year-olds [3.3 percent], 35- to 49-year-olds [1.9 percent], and 50- to 64-year-olds [0.7 percent]) (Figure 2.3 and Table 2.4).

"• Males were nearly twice as likely as females to meet the criteria for past year illicit drug dependence or abuse (3.3 vs. 1.8 percent) (Figure 2.4 and Table 2.4).

"• Hispanics (3.2 percent) had a higher prevalence of past year illicit drug dependence or abuse than non-Hispanics (2.6 percent) (Figure 2.8 and Table 2.4).

"• Within non-Hispanic subgroups, Asians had the lowest prevalence of past year illicit drug dependence or abuse (1.1 percent). This was lower than non-Hispanic white adults (2.5 percent), black (2.9 percent) adults, American Indian or Alaska Native (4.5 percent) adults, and adults reporting two or more races (4.3 percent) (Figure 2.8 and Table 2.4)."

Larson, S. L., Eyerman, J., Foster, M. S., & Gfroerer, J. C. (2007). Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs (DHHS Publication No. SMA 07-4273, Analytic Series A-29). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, p. 17.

46. Drug Usage - Data - Nonmedical Use of Ritalin and Adderal by US Youth, 2014

(Nonmedical Use of Ritalin and Adderal by US Youth, 2014)
"• Between 1982 and 1992, among 12th graders levels of amphetamine use in the past 12 months (other than use that was ordered by a physician) fell by nearly two thirds, from 20.3% to 7.1%. Levels among college students fell even more over the same interval, from 21.1% to 3.6%. During the relapse phase in the drug epidemic in the 1990s, annual amphetamine use increased by about half among 8th and 10th graders between 1991 and 1996, and also increased among 12th graders and college students between 1992 and 1996. After 1996 the age groups diverged, with amphetamine use declining gradually and substantially among 8th graders—where use is now a fraction of what it was in 1996 — but continuing to rise among 12th graders (and eventually 10th graders), college students, and young adults until about 2002. The declines continued in the upper grades through about 2008 but through 2013 for 8th graders. Since 2009, annual prevalence has increased among 12th graders (from 6.6% to 8.1% in 2014), perhaps as a result of more students using amphetamines to help their academic work. Among students in college, amphetamine use rose even more sharply from 5.7% in 2008 to 10.1% in 2014, likely for the same reason. Young adults, who include the college students, showed less of an increase over the same interval, from 5.3% in 2008 to 8.0% in 2014. The pattern of cross-age-group change suggests a cohort effect at work for amphetamine use. Since the late 1990s there has been a greater difference between use among 8th graders and use by older students, suggesting that an age effect has emerged, possibly due to the older students becoming more likely to use amphetamines to aid their academic performance. (“To help me study” was the highest endorsed reason 12th graders gave for amphetamine use in 2012 and the third highest in 2014.)
"Among 12th graders, the increase in nonmedical use of amphetamines (and a concurrent decrease in disapproval) began in 1993; this followed a sharp drop in perceived risk a year earlier (which, as we have noted for a number of drugs, often serves as a leading indicator). Following a period of decline, perceived risk among 12th graders increased gradually from 1995 through 2009.1
"• Use of the stimulant drug Ritalin outside of medical supervision showed a distinct increase around 1997 — with annual prevalence among 12th graders going from 0.1% in 1992 to 2.8% in 1997 — and then stayed level for a few years (see Appendix E, Table E-22). Because of its increasing importance, a differently structured question was introduced for Ritalin use in 2001 (2002 in the follow-ups of college students and young adults). This new question, which we prefer to the original, does not use a prior branching question and produced somewhat higher prevalence levels. Results from the new question suggest an ongoing decline in Ritalin use, with prevalence levels in 2014 less than half of what they were when first measured in 2001-02.
"• Another stimulant used in the treatment of the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the amphetamine drug Adderall. A new question on its non-medical use was introduced in 2009; annual prevalence levels in 2009 through 2014 were higher than those for Ritalin in all five populations. This suggests that Adderall may have to some degree replaced the use of Ritalin and may help to account for the declines that we have been observing for the latter drug. Annual prevalence of Adderall changed rather little between 2009 and 2014 in 8th and 10th grades, although the levels seem to be drifting down. In 12th grade, however, annual prevalence has risen from 5.4% in 2009 to 7.6% in 2012, followed by non-significant declines over the next two years. The absolute prevalence levels in 2014 are fairly high, particularly among 12th graders (6.8%), young adults (7.8%), and college students (9.6%)."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (June 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2014: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 18-19.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

47. Initiation of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Psychotherapeutics in the US, 2013

"• Nonmedical use of psychotherapeutics includes nonmedical use of any prescription-type pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives. Over-the-counter substances are not included. In 2013, there were approximately 2.0 million persons aged 12 or older who used psychotherapeutics nonmedically for the first time within the past year, which averages to about 5,500 initiates per day. The number of new nonmedical users of psychotherapeutics in 2013 was lower than the estimates for prior years from 2002 through 2012 (ranging from 2.3 million to 2.8 million).
"• In 2013, the numbers of initiates were 1.5 million for pain relievers, 1.2 million for tranquilizers, 603,000 for stimulants, and 128,000 for sedatives (Figure 5.6).
"• The number of new nonmedical users of pain relievers in 2013 (1.5 million) was lower than the numbers in 2002 through 2012 (ranging from 1.9 million to 2.5 million) (Figure 5.6). The number of past year initiates for nonmedical use of tranquilizers has been fairly stable from 2002 to 2013 (ranging from 1.1 million to 1.4 million). The number of initiates for nonmedical use of stimulants in 2013 was similar to the numbers in 2003, 2005, and in 2007 to 2012 (ranging from 602,000 to 715,000), but was lower than the numbers in 2002, 2004, and 2006 (ranging from 783,000 to 846,000). The number of initiates for nonmedical use of sedatives in 2013 was similar to the numbers in 2002, 2003, 2007 to 2009, 2011, and 2012 (ranging from 159,000 to 209,000), but was lower than the numbers in 2004 to 2006 and in 2010 (ranging from 240,000 to 267,000).
"• In 2013, the average age at first nonmedical use of any psychotherapeutics among recent initiates aged 12 to 49 was 22.4 years. Average ages at first nonmedical use were 21.6 years for stimulants, 21.7 years for pain relievers, 25.0 years for sedatives, and 25.4 years for tranquilizers. All of these 2013 estimates were similar to the corresponding estimates in 2012.
"• In 2013, the number of new nonmedical users of OxyContin® aged 12 or older was 436,000, which was similar to the estimates for prior years from 2004 through 2012. The average age at first use of OxyContin® among past year initiates aged 12 to 49 was similar in 2012 and 2013 (22.0 and 23.6 years, respectively)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, pp. 64-66.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

48. Prescription Antidepressant Use in the US

"Antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages in 2005–2008 and the most frequently used by persons aged 18–44 years. From 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%."

Pratt, Laura A.; Brody, Debra J.; Qiuping, Gu,"Antidepressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2005–2008," NCHS data brief, no 76 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2011), p. 1.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/d...

49. Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use by Young Adults Aged 18-25 in the US, 2013

"• Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the rate of current nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs in 2013 (4.8 percent) was similar to the rates in 2011 (5.0 percent) and 2012 (5.3 percent), but it was lower than the rates in 2002 to 2010 (ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 percent) (Figure 2.9). The rate of current nonmedical use of pain relievers among young adults in 2013 (3.3 percent) was lower than the rates in 2012 (3.8 percent) and in 2002 to 2010 (ranging from 4.1 to 5.0 percent), but it was similar to the rate in 2011 (3.6 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 23.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

50. Nonmedical Use of Psychotherapeutic Drugs by Type, 2004

"In 2004, 6.0 million persons were current users of psychotherapeutic drugs taken nonmedically (2.5 percent). These include 4.4 million who used pain relievers, 1.6 million who used tranquilizers, 1.2 million who used stimulants, and 0.3 million who used sedatives. These estimates are all similar to the corresponding estimates for 2003.
"There were significant increases in the lifetime prevalence of use from 2003 to 2004 in several categories of pain relievers among those aged 18 to 25. Specific pain relievers with statistically significant increases in lifetime use were Vicodin®, Lortab®, or Lorcet® (from 15.0 to 16.5 percent); Percocet®, Percodan®, or Tylox® (from 7.8 to 8.7 percent); hydrocodone products (from 16.3 to 17.4 percent); OxyContin® (from 3.6 to 4.3 percent); and oxycodone products (from 8.9 to 10.1 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings (Rockville, MD: US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office of Applied Studies, 2005), p. 1.
http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nsdu...

51. Prevalence of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Among US Youth

"In the United States, there are indications of an increase in NPS use among certain user groups between 2009 and 2013; the prevalence of lifetime use of a 'novel psychoactive substance' among the population aged 12-34 was 1.2 per cent in 2013.235 There are signs of declining use of synthetic cannabinoids among secondary school students in the United States. The prevalence of past-year use of synthetic cannabinoids among twelfth-grade students decreased from 11.4 per cent in 2011 to 5.2 per cent in 2015.236 This is associated with an increase, over the same period, in the perceived risk of taking synthetic cannabinoids among the same group. The use of NPS with stimulant effects (reported as “bath salts“) among twelfth graders remained stable at 1 per cent in 2015. The prevalence of the use of synthetic cannabinoids among eighth, tenth and twelfth graders has declined to the lowest levels since the collection of such data began. However, the large amount of synthetic cannabinoids seized between 2012 and 2014 (more than 93 tons) and the large number of calls to poison centres for problems related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids (3,682 in 2014 and 7,779 in 2015)237 indicate the continued presence and use of this NPS group in the United States."

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2016 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.16.XI.7), p. 60.
http://www.unodc.org/wdr2016/
http://www.unodc.org/doc/wdr20...

52. Global Prevalence of Ecstasy Use, 2012

"With between 9.4 million and 28.2 million estimated past-year users in 2012, its use declined globally in the period 2010-2012, mainly in Western and Central Europe. Nevertheless, Oceania (2.9 per cent), North America (0.9 per cent) and Europe (0.5 per cent) remain regions with prevalence rates higher than the global average of 0.4 per cent."

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2014 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.14.XI.7), p. 50.
http://www.unodc.org/documents...

53. Current Hallucinogen Use in the US, 2013

"• The number and percentage of persons aged 12 or older who were current users of hallucinogens in 2013 (1.3 million or 0.5 percent) were similar to those in 2012 (1.1 million or 0.4 percent), but were higher than in 2011 (1.0 million or 0.4 percent) (Figure 2.2)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 19.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

54. Prevalence of Current Alcohol Use, Binge Drinking, and Heavy Drinking in the US, 2013

Alcohol and Tobacco

"• Slightly more than half (52.2 percent) of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2013 survey, which was similar to the rate in 2012 (52.1 percent). This translates to an estimated 136.9 million current drinkers in 2013.
"• Nearly one quarter (22.9 percent) of persons aged 12 or older in 2013 were binge alcohol users in the 30 days prior to the survey. This translates to about 60.1 million people. The rate in 2013 was similar to the rate in 2012 (23.0 percent).
"• In 2013, heavy drinking was reported by 6.3 percent of the population aged 12 or older, or 16.5 million people. This percentage was similar to the rate of heavy drinking in 2012 (6.5 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 35.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

55. Prevalence of Heavy Alcohol Use Among Full-Time Workers in the US

"• An estimated 8.8 percent, or 10.1 million, of full-time workers reported past month heavy alcohol use (Figure 2.3 and Tables 2.2 and 2.3).

"• Past month heavy alcohol use was related to age. Among younger workers (18 to 25 years old), 16.3 percent reported past month heavy alcohol use compared with 10.4 percent of 26- to 34-year-olds, 8.1 percent of 35- to 49-year-olds, and 4.7 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds (Figure 2.3 and Table 2.2).

"• Males were three times as likely as females to be past month heavy alcohol users (12.3 vs. 4.1 percent) (Figure 2.4 and Table 2.2).

"• An estimated 10.1 percent of white adults reported heavy alcohol use in the past month. This was higher than the percentage among black adults (5.4 percent), Asian adults (2.9 percent), Hispanic adults (6.9 percent), and adults reporting two or more races (7.5 percent) (Figure 2.5 and Table 2.2).

"• Residents of noncore rural counties had a lower prevalence of past month heavy alcohol use (7.5 percent) compared with residents of micropolitan statistical area (9.2 percent), small MSA (9.8 percent), and large MSA (8.1 percent) counties (Table 2.3).

"• Workers with a college education had a lower prevalence of past month heavy alcohol use compared with those without a college education. Past month heavy alcohol use was lower among those with higher levels of education than those with less education (college graduate [6.7 percent] vs. less than high school [10.8 percent]) (Figure 2.6 and Table 2.3)."

Larson, S. L., Eyerman, J., Foster, M. S., & Gfroerer, J. C. (2007). Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs (DHHS Publication No. SMA 07-4273, Analytic Series A-29). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, p. 16.

56. Prevalence of Tobacco Use in the US, 2013, According to NSDUH

"• In 2013, an estimated 66.9 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) users of a tobacco product. This represents 25.5 percent of the population in that age range (Figure 4.1). Also, 55.8 million persons (21.3 percent of the population) were current cigarette smokers; 12.4 million (4.7 percent) smoked cigars; 8.8 million (3.4 percent) used smokeless tobacco; and 2.3 million (0.9 percent) smoked tobacco in pipes.

"• Between 2002 and 2013, past month use of any tobacco product among persons aged 12 or older decreased from 30.4 to 25.5 percent, and past month cigarette use declined from 26.0 to 21.3 percent (Figure 4.1). Past month cigar use decreased from 5.4 percent in 2002 to 4.7 percent in 2013. Rates of past month use of smokeless tobacco and pipe tobacco were similar in 2002 and 2013."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, pp. 47-48.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

57. Illicit Substance Use by 'Lifetime' Alcohol Users in the US

"Lifetime alcohol users aged 21 or older had a significantly higher rate of past year illicit drug use (13.7 percent) compared with lifetime nondrinkers (2.7 percent). In addition, lifetime alcohol users had significantly higher rates of past year use across all illicit drug categories, with the exception of inhalants (Table 1). Nonmedical use of pain relievers was the illicit drug used most often by lifetime nondrinkers, whereas lifetime alcohol users reported using marijuana most frequently."

"Illicit Drug Use Among Lifetime Nondrinkers and Lifetime Alcohol Users," Office of Applied Programs, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, June 14, 2005, p. 2.
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/fi...

58. 'Lifetime' Alcohol Users and Other Drug Use

"In 2002 and 2003, an estimated 88.2 percent of persons aged 21 or older (175.6 million) were lifetime alcohol users, whereas an estimated 11.8 percent (23.5 million) were lifetime nondrinkers. Over half of lifetime alcohol users (52.7 percent) had used one or more illicit drugs at some time in their life, compared to 8.0 percent of lifetime nondrinkers. Among persons who had used an illicit drug in their lifetime, the average age at first illicit drug use was 19 years for lifetime alcohol users, versus 23 years for lifetime nondrinkers."

"Illicit Drug Use Among Lifetime Nondrinkers and Lifetime Alcohol Users," Office of Applied Programs, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, June 14, 2005, p. 2.
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/fi...

59. Global Prevalence of Use of Alcohol and Tobacco

"Global estimates suggest that past-month prevalence of tobacco use (25 per cent of the population aged 15 and above) is 10 times higher than past-month prevalence of illicit drug use (2.5 per cent). Annual prevalence of the use of alcohol is 42 per cent (the use of alcohol being legal in most countries), which is eight times higher than annual prevalence of illicit drug use (5.0 per cent). Heavy episodic weekly drinking is eight times more prevalent than problem drug use. Drug use accounts for 0.9 per cent of all disability-adjusted life years lost at the global level, or 10 per cent of all life years lost as a result of the consumption of psychoactive substances (drugs, alcohol and tobacco)."

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2012 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.XI.1), p. 4.
https://www.unodc.org/document...

60. Association of Alcohol Use with Tobacco and Other Substance Use in the US, 2013

"• As was the case in prior years, the level of alcohol use was associated with illicit drug use in 2013. Among the 16.5 million heavy drinkers aged 12 or older, 33.7 percent were current illicit drug users. Persons who were not current alcohol users were less likely to have used illicit drugs in the past month (4.3 percent) than those who reported current use of alcohol but no binge or heavy use (7.3 percent), binge use but no heavy use (18.5 percent), or heavy use of alcohol (33.7 percent).

"• Alcohol consumption levels also were associated with tobacco use in 2013. Among heavy alcohol users aged 12 or older, 53.1 percent smoked cigarettes in the past month compared with 16.2 percent of non-binge current drinkers and 15.5 percent of persons who did not drink alcohol in the past month. Smokeless tobacco use and cigar use also were more prevalent among heavy drinkers (12.1 and 15.4 percent, respectively) than among non-binge drinkers (2.0 and 3.9 percent) and persons who were not current alcohol users (2.0 and 1.8 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, pp. 41-42.

61. Supply Reduction Has Little Or No Impact On Substance Use

"Overall, supply reduction—that is, reducing the availability of drugs—does not appear to have played as major a role as many had assumed in four of the five most important downturns in illicit drug use that have occurred to date, namely, those for marijuana, cocaine, crack, and ecstasy (see, for example, Figures 8-4, 8-5, and 8-6). The case of cocaine is particularly striking, as perceived availability actually rose during much of the period of downturn in use that began in the mid- 1980s. (These data are corroborated by data from the Drug Enforcement Administration on trends in the price and purity of cocaine on the streets.8) For marijuana, perceived availability has remained very high for 12th graders since 1976, while use dropped substantially from 1979 through 1992 and has fluctuated considerably thereafter. Perceived availability for ecstasy did increase in parallel with increasing use in the 1990s, but the decline phase for use appears to have been driven much more by changing beliefs about the dangers of ecstasy than by any sharp downturn in availability. Similarly, amphetamine use declined appreciably from 1981 to 1992, with only a modest corresponding change in perceived availability. Finally, until 1995, heroin use had not risen among 12th graders even though availability had increased substantially.

"• What did change dramatically were young peoples’ beliefs about the dangers of using marijuana, cocaine, crack, and ecstasy. We believe that increases in perceived risk led to a decrease in use directly through their impact on young people’s demand for these drugs and indirectly through their impact on personal disapproval and, subsequently, peer norms. Because the perceived risk of amphetamine use was changing little when amphetamine use was declining substantially (1981–1986), other factors must have helped to account for the decline in demand for that class of drugs—quite conceivably some displacement by cocaine. Because three classes of drugs (marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines) have shown different patterns of change, it is highly unlikely that a general factor (e.g., a broad shift in attitudes about drug use) can explain their various trends.

"• The increase in marijuana use in the 1990s among 12th graders added more compelling evidence to this interpretation. It was both preceded and accompanied by a decrease in perceived risk. (Between 1991 and 1997, the perceived risk of regular marijuana use declined 21 percentage points.) Perceived peer disapproval dropped sharply from 1993 through 1997, after perceived risk began to change, consistent with our interpretation that perceived risk can be an important determinant of disapproval as well as of use. Perceived availability remained fairly constant from 1991 to 1993 and then increased seven percentage points through 1998.9

"• We do think that the expansion in the world supply of heroin, particularly in the 1990s, had the effect of dramatically raising the purity of heroin available on the streets, thus allowing for new means of ingestion, such as snorting and smoking. The advent of new forms of heroin, rather than any change in respondents’ beliefs about the dangers associated with injecting heroin, very likely contributed to the fairly sharp increase in heroin use in the 1990s. Evidence from this study, showing that a significant portion of the self-reported heroin users in recent years are using by means other than injection, lends credibility to this interpretation. The dramatic decline in LSD use in the early to mid 2000s is also not explainable by means of concurrent changes in perceived risk or disapproval; but availability did decline sharply during this period and very likely played a key role in reducing the use of that drug.

"We should also note that other factors, such as price, could play an important role for some drugs. Analyses of MTF data have shown, for example, that price probably played an important role in the decline of marijuana use in the 1980s, and in changes in cigarette use in the 1990s.10,11 However, price does not appear to have the same influence in all periods for all drugs, as the dramatic reduction in cocaine prevalence during the late 1980s took place at the same time that the price of cocaine decreased,12 contrary to the supply/demand model."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2018). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2017: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

62. Afghan Opiate Use

"Illicit drug use has increased across the country, dramatically so for opium, heroin and other opiates. In four years, the number of regular opium users in Afghanistan grew from 150,000 to approximately 230,000 ? a jump of 53 per cent. The numbers are even more alarming for heroin. In 2005, the estimate of regular heroin users in the country was 50,000, compared to approximately 120,000 users in 2009, a leap of 140 per cent. Overall, the annual prevalence of regular opiate use is estimated to be 2.7 per cent of the adult population1 (between 290,000 and 360,000 persons). Opium is by far the most commonly used opiate with an estimated prevalence of about 1.9 per cent of the adult population. Heroin prevalence is estimated to be about 1.0 per cent of the adult population and other opiates users2 are estimated to make up about 0.5 per cent of the adult population."

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Drug Use in Afghanistan: 2009 Survey" (Vienna, Austria: United Nations, 2009), p. 5.
http://www.unodc.org/documents...

63. Data Limitations Make Estimating Demographics of Heroin Users in the US Difficult

"The prevalence of heroin use is extremely difficult to estimate despite the fact that harm to society associated with heroin marketing and use is substantial. A disproportionate number of heroin users are part of the nonsampled populations in general prevalence surveys (persons with no fixed address, prison inmates, etc.) Also, heroin users are believed to represent less than one half of one percent of our total population, making heroin usage a relatively rare event. Sample surveys are not sensitive enough to measure rare events reliable. Data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (which is considered to produce conservative estimates), indicated that 1.9 percent of blacks, 1.6 percent of Hispanics, and 1.4 percent of whites had ever tried heroin. As will be noted later in this report, the data available from hospital emergency rooms and from drug abuse treatment programs indicated that heroin use is a more serious problem among blacks than whites and Hispanics."

Andrea N. Kopstein and Patrice T. Roth, "Drug Abuse Among Racial/Ethnic Groups" (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1993), p. 13.
http://books.google.com...

64. Estimated Prevalence of and Attitudes Toward Marijuana Use Among Youth in the US in 2015

"Marijuana, the most widely used of the illicit drugs, did not show any significant change in annual prevalence this year in any of the three grades, nor in the three grades combined. After rising for several years, the annual prevalence of marijuana has more or less leveled out since about 2010.
"This year, 12 percent of 8th ­graders, 25 percent of 10th ­graders and 35 percent of 12th ­graders reported using marijuana at least once in the prior 12 months. Of more importance, perhaps, is their daily or near-­daily marijuana use (defined as smoking marijuana on 20 or more occasions in the past 30 days). These rates stand at 1.1 percent, 3.0 percent and 6.0 percent in 8th, 10th and 12th grades, respectively.
"In other words, one in every 16 or 17 high school seniors is smoking marijuana daily or near daily. These rates have changed rather little since 2010, but are from three-­to-­six times higher than they were at their low point in 1991.
"'The proportion of our young people smoking marijuana this frequently remains a matter of concern,' Johnston said.[2],[3]
"He notes that the percent of students who see regular marijuana use as carrying a great risk of harm has declined substantially since about 2005, and is still declining. Over the past 10 years, the percent seeing a great risk in regular marijuana use has fallen among 8th ­graders from 74 percent to 58 percent, among 10th ­graders from 66 percent to 43 percent and among 12th­graders from 58 percent to 32 percent."

Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Miech, R.A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (December 16, 2015). "Use of ecstasy, heroin, synthetic marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes declined among US teens in 2015," University of Michigan News Service: Ann Arbor, MI, p. 5.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

65. Global Distribution of Drug Use

"Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly. In general, the US had among the highest levels of use of all drugs. Much lower levels were observed in lower income countries in Africa and the Middle East, and lower levels of use were reported in the Asian locales covered."

Degenhardt, Louisa; Chiu, Wai-Tat; Sampson, Nancy; Kessler, Ronald C.; Anthony, James C.; Angermeyer, Matthias; Bruffaerts, Ronny; Girolamo, Giovanni de; Gureje, Oye; Huang, Yueqin; Karam, Aimee; Kostyuchenko, Stanislav; Lepine, Jean Pierre; Mora, Maria Elena Medina; Neumark, Yehuda; Ormel, J. Hans; Pinto-Meza, Alejandra; Posada-Villa, Jose´; Stein, Dan J.; Takeshima, Tadashi; Wells, J. Elisabeth, "Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys," Plos Medicine (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Public Library of Science, July 2008) Vol. 5, Issue 7, p. e141.
http://www.plosmedicine.org...

66. Comparison of US and Europe

"Although statistics on drug use in the United States are not fully reliable, the numbers available indicate that US consumption of cocaine and marijuana has been essentially stable for many years—although considerably reduced from its peak in the 1970s and 1980s. The data also show that, today, the United States consumes illegal substances at a rate some three times that of Europe—although the use of drugs in the EU continues to grow rapidly and a few countries actually consume more per capita than the United States. In both the United States and Europe, the wholesale and street prices of cannabis and cocaine have declined in the past several years, although reportedly their potency has increased and demand remains steady. Across the world, illicit drugs appear to be available at stable or declining prices. A recent EU Commission study concluded that global drug production and use remained largely unchanged during the period from 1998 through 2007."

Hakim, Peter, "Rethinking US Drug Policy," Inter-American Dialogue (Washington, DC: The Beckley Foundation, February, 2010), p. 4.
http://www.thedialogue.org/upl...

67. Attitudes of US 12th Graders Toward Legalization of Currently Illegal Drugs

"• Support for laws prohibiting consumption of marijuana in private has been in substantial decline since 1990 and has fallen by more than half from a high of 56% (in 1990) to 21% in 2019, the lowest level recorded by the survey. This trend is almost a mirror image of the pattern before 1990, when the proportion who believed private marijuana use should be prohibited more than doubled, from 25% in 1978 to its level of 56% in 1990 – also a dramatic shift. The trend for prohibition of marijuana use in public follows very closely the same overall pattern seen for private use, with support for prohibition of public use running about 30 percentage points higher in every year. In 2019 it was 49%, the second lowest level ever recorded by the survey (the lowest was in 2018 at 48%).

"• In 2019 the proportions of 12th grade students agreeing that use of LSD, heroin, and amphetamines in private should be prohibited by law continued their long declines and were near historic lows (Table 8-7). The decline has been weakest for heroin, which seems to have maintained its reputation as a very dangerous drug, and support for legal prohibitions against its use in private stood at 68% in 2019. Steeper declines have been apparent for LSD and amphetamines. For all three drugs, the trends for support of legal prohibitions against public use are similar to their trends for private use, although levels of support of legal prohibitions against public use are higher and are 60% or above in all years. Specifically, in 2019 all three drugs – LSD, heroin, and amphetamines – were at or near the lowest levels recorded by the survey.

"• The proportion of 12th graders who said smoking cigarettes “in certain specified public places” should be prohibited by law was 36% in 2019, a historic low. The proportion has dipped below the 40% level where it had hovered since 2013. In earlier years level of support hovered at around 45% since the 1980s and showed surprisingly little change given the steady decline in smoking prevalence over the course of the survey. Given recent widespread prohibitions of smoking in many public and private places, it is possible that the assumed definition of “certain specified public places” has expanded in the minds of many 12th graders.

"• Attitudes about the legality of drunkenness in public significantly declined in 2019 to 41%, a historic low. In the past decade the percentage of 12th grade students favoring prohibition of public drunkenness had varied within the narrow range of 46% to 50%. This historic low in 2019 joins historic lows in attitudes toward both smoking cigarettes and marijuana use in public, suggesting a growing, general opposition to legal prohibition of public drug use, at least for the most commonly used substances. For private drunkenness, support for a prohibition ranged from 19% to 23% over the past decade, and in 2019 registered at 21%."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

68. Drug Decriminalization In Portugal Reduced Problematic Drug Use

"The information we have presented adds to the current literature on the impacts of decriminalization. It disconfirms the hypothesis that decriminalization necessarily leads to increases in the most harmful forms of drug use. While small increases in drug use were reported by Portuguese adults, the regional context of this trend suggests that they were not produced solely by the 2001 decriminalization. We would argue that they are less important than the major reductions seen in opiate-related deaths and infections, as well as reductions in young people’s drug use. The Portuguese evidence suggests that combining the removal of criminal penalties with the use of alternative therapeutic responses to dependent drug users offers several advantages. It can reduce the burden of drug law enforcement on the criminal justice system, while also reducing problematic drug use."

Hughes, Caitlin Elizabeth and Stevens, Alex, "What can we learn from the Portugese decriminalization of drugs?" British Journal of Criminology (London, United Kingdom: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, November 2010), Vol. 50, Issue 6.

69. Availability Of Illegal Substances According To Young People In The European Union

"Cannabis is perceived to be the easiest illicit substance to get hold of, with around one third of ESPAD students (32 %) rating cannabis as easily obtainable. More students in the Netherlands, Denmark, Czechia, Slovenia and Slovakia than in the other ESPAD countries perceived cannabis to be easily available (rates from 45 % to 51 %). The countries with the lowest perceived availability of cannabis were Kosovo (11 %), Ukraine (13 %), Romania (16 %) and North Macedonia (19 %). Boys were more likely than girls to consider cannabis to be easily available (ESPAD average: 34 % for boys versus 30 % for girls).

"Compared with cannabis, perceived availability was low for ecstasy (MDMA) (14 %), cocaine (13 %), amphetamine (10 %) and methamphetamine (8.5 %). These drugs were perceived to be more easily available in Bulgaria, Sweden and Denmark than elsewhere in Europe.

"The perceived availability of ecstasy was highest (over 20 %) in Slovakia, Czechia, Slovenia and the Netherlands, whereas for cocaine it was highest in Denmark and Ireland (22 % each). The countries with the lowest perceived availability of nearly all illicit drugs were Kosovo, Georgia and Romania.

"On average, 2.4 % of the ESPAD students reported having used cannabis for the first time at age 13 or younger. The highest proportions were found in France (4.5 %), Italy (4.4 %), Latvia (3.8 %), Cyprus (3.6 %) and Estonia (3.5 %). Rates of early onset of amphetamine/methamphetamine use were lower (ESPAD average: 0.5 %), with the highest proportion in Bulgaria (1.8 %). Boys were more likely than girls to have used cannabis or amphetamine/ methamphetamine at age 13 or younger. Similar results were found for early onset of ecstasy and cocaine use.

"The average prevalence of lifetime use of illicit drugs was 17 %, with considerable variation across ESPAD countries. It should be noted that this mainly relates to cannabis use (average lifetime prevalence of 16 %). The highest proportions of students reporting lifetime use of any illicit drug were found in Czechia (29 %), Italy (28 %), Latvia (27 %) and Slovakia (25 %). Particularly low levels (10 % or less) of lifetime illicit drug use were noted in Kosovo, Iceland, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Serbia, Sweden, Norway, Greece and Romania."

ESPAD Group (2020), ESPAD Report 2019: Results from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, EMCDDA Joint Publications, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

70. Substance Use By Young People In The European Union

"Considering the ESPAD average, the lifetime prevalence of illicit drug use increased from 1995 to 2011 and has declined since then.

"Cannabis was the most widely used illicit drug in all ESPAD countries. On average, 16 % of students had used cannabis at least once in their lifetime. The countries with the highest prevalence of cannabis use were Czechia (28 %), Italy (27 %) and Latvia (26 %). The lowest levels of cannabis use (2.9-7.3 %) were reported in Kosovo, North Macedonia, Iceland and Serbia. On average, boys reported cannabis use to a larger extent than girls (18 % versus 13 %). This was the case in all countries except Bulgaria, Slovakia, Malta, the Netherlands and Czechia.

"Among all students who had used cannabis in the last 12 months (13 % of the total), the drug was used on average on about 10 occasions (9.9). In France, Italy, Serbia, Austria and Cyprus, cannabis was used once a month on average (12 or more occasions). The lowest average frequency of cannabis use was found in the Faroes (4.4 occasions). Overall, boys reported a higher frequency of cannabis use than girls.

"Overall, 7.1 % of the students had used cannabis in the last 30 days. A high variability was found among ESPAD countries, with the maximum rate observed in Italy (15 %) and the minimum in Kosovo (1.4 %). More boys than girls reported cannabis use in the last 30 days (boys 8.5 % versus girls 5.8 % on average), with statistically significant gender differences found in more than two thirds of ESPAD countries.

"To estimate the risk of cannabis-related problems, a core module, the CAST (Cannabis Abuse Screening Test) scale, was included in the ESPAD questionnaire. The prevalence of high-risk cannabis users (see the methodology section for a definition) ranged from 1.4 % to 7.3 % across countries, with an average of 4.0 %. Overall, the prevalence of high-risk cannabis users was higher among boys than girls (4.7 % versus 3.3 %). At the country level, statistically significant gender differences with higher rates among boys were found in 16 ESPAD countries.

"Trends in cannabis use indicate a general increase in both lifetime and last-30-day use between 1995 and 2019, from 11 % to 16 % and from 4.1 % to 7.4 %, respectively. Both prevalence rates reached their highest levels in 2011, with lifetime use slightly decreasing thereafter and current use levelling off.

"On average, 1-2 % of the ESPAD students had ever used an illicit drug other than cannabis at least once. After cannabis, the most widely used illicit drugs were ecstasy (MDMA), LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or other hallucinogens, cocaine and amphetamine. Lifetime prevalence rates for methamphetamine, crack, heroin and GHB (gammahydroxybutyrate) were lower than those for the other illicit drugs (about 1.0 % on average). At the country level, higher rates of lifetime use were found in Estonia and Latvia (lifetime use of ecstasy, LSD or other hallucinogens of about 5.0 %)."

ESPAD Group (2020), ESPAD Report 2019: Results from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, EMCDDA Joint Publications, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

71. Use by Educational Status, 2011

"Illicit drug use in 2011 varied by the educational status of adults aged 18 or older, with the rate of current illicit drug use lower among college graduates (5.4 percent) than those with some college education (10.4 percent), high school graduates (8.9 percent), and those who had not graduated from high school (11.1 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-44, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4713. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012, p. 23.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

72. Hispanic Population

"In 2010, there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, composing 16 percent of the total population .... Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent—rising from 35.3 million in 2000, when this group made up 13 percent of the total population.9 The Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010, accounting for over half of the 27.3 million increase in the total population of the United States."
According to the 2010 Census, "'Hispanic or Latino' refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race."

Humes, Karen R.; Jones, Nicholas A; & Ramirez, Roberto R., "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010," U.S. Census Bureau (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, May 2010), p. 3.
http://www.census.gov/prod/cen...

73. US Population by Race

"In the 2010 Census, 97 percent of all respondents (299.7 million) reported only one race (see Table 1).10 The largest group reported White alone (223.6 million), accounting for 72 percent of all people living in the United States.11 The Black or African-American alone population was 38.9 million and represented 13 percent of the total population.12 There were 2.9 million respondents who indicated American Indian and Alaska Native alone (0.9 percent). Approximately 14.7 million (about 5 percent of all respondents) identified their race as Asian alone."

Humes, Karen R.; Jones, Nicholas A; & Ramirez, Roberto R., "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010," U.S. Census Bureau (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, May 2010), p. 4.
http://www.census.gov/prod/cen...

74. Marijuana Use and Other Illicit Drug Use by 50 Year Old High School Graduates in the US, 2012

"Among 50-year-old high school graduates in 2012, we estimate that about three quarters (74%) have tried marijuana, and that about two thirds (64%) have tried an illicit drug other than marijuana. (These estimates are adjusted to correct for panel attrition, as described in chapter 4 of Volume II.)
"Their current behavior is far less extreme than those statistics might suggest, but it is not by any means negligible. One in eight (12%) indicates using marijuana in the last 12 months, and one in ten (10%) indicates using any other illicit drug in the same period. Their past-month prevalence rates are lower—7.3% and 6.2%, respectively, for marijuana and any other illicit drug. About 1 in 43 (2.3%) is a current daily marijuana user, though substantially more indicate that they have used marijuana daily at some time in the past."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., and Schulenberg, J. E., (2013). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2012: Volume 2, College students and adults ages 19–50. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 37.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

75. Current Illegal Substance Use Among Adults 50-64, 2013

"• Among adults aged 50 to 64, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 6.0 percent in 2013. For adults aged 50 to 54, the rate increased from 3.4 percent in 2002 to 7.9 percent in 2013 (Figure 2.10). Among those aged 55 to 59, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 1.9 percent in 2002 to 5.7 percent in 2013. Among those aged 60 to 64, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 1.1 percent in 2003 and 2004 to 3.9 percent in 2013."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014, p. 24.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

76. Drug Usage - 5-18-10

(Baby Boomers) "In 2007, the rate of past year use in this age group [persons aged 50 to 59] was 9.4 percent for any illicit drug, 5.7 percent for marijuana, and 4.0 percent for nonmedical use of prescription drugs. Analyses show that the observed increases are driven primarily by the aging of the baby boom cohort, which has a much higher lifetime illicit drug use rate than earlier cohorts, representing an increasing proportion of persons aged 50 to 59. Less than 3 percent of past year users initiated drug use at ages 50 to 59. Almost 90 percent of past year users initiated drug use before age 30, and many have been continuing users over the years."

Office of Applied Studies, "OAS Data Review: An Examination of Trends in Illicit Drug Use among Adults Aged 50 to 59 in the United States," (Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, August 2009), p. 8
http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k9/...

77. Illicit Drug Use Among Military Personnel

Substance Use in the Military

"The prevalence of any reported illicit drug use (including prescription drug misuse) during the past 30 days declined sharply from 28% in 1980 to 3% in 2002. In 2005, the prevalence of illicit drug use for the past 30 days was 5% and in 2008 it was 12%. Improved question wording in 2005 and 2008 may partially account for the higher observed rates, which are largely attributable to reported increases in misuse of prescription pain medications (see Section 3.3.2 for additional discussion). Because of wording changes, data from 2005 and 2008 are not comparable to data from prior surveys and are not included as part of the trend line. An additional line from 2002 to 2008 shows estimates of illicit drug use excluding prescription drug misuse. As shown, those rates were very low (2% in 2008) and did not change across these three iterations of the survey."

Robert M. Bray, et al., "2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel, A Component of the Defense Lifestyle Assessment Program (DLAP)" (Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International, Sept. 2009), p. 46.
http://www.tricare.mil/tma/200...

78. Prevalence of Heavy Alcohol Use Among US Military Personnel

"• Among current drinkers, 39.6% reported binge drinking in the past month, with the Marine Corps reporting the highest prevalence of binge drinking (56.7%), and the Air Force reporting the lowest prevalence (28.1%).
"• When examining levels of drinking across all services, 9.9% were classified abstainers, 5.7% were former drinkers, and 84.5% were current drinkers; 58.6% of all personnel were classified as infrequent/light drinkers, 17.5% were moderate drinkers, and 8.4% were classified as heavy drinkers.
"• Heavy drinkers were more often in the Marine Corps (15.5%), had a high school education or less (12.6%), 21-25 years old (13.2%), unmarried (11.9%), and stationed OCONUS (9.9%).
"• In general, active duty personnel who were heavy drinkers, initiated alcohol use at earlier ages, or drank at work more often reported higher work-related productivity loss, serious consequences from drinking, began drinking at older ages, or did not drink at work.
"• Across all drinking levels, 11.3% of active duty personnel were classified as problem drinkers (AUDIT ≥), with 58.4% of heavy drinkers considered problem drinkers compared to 22.6% of moderate drinkers and 3.5% of infrequent/light drinkers."

2011 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel. Sponsored by the Department of Defense, TRICARE Management Activity, Defense Health Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, and the US Coast Guard. February 2013.
https://assets.documentcloud.o...
https://www.documentcloud.org/...

79. Positive Drug Tests Among Active Duty Soldiers in US Army

"Given that illicit drug use is inconsistent with Army Values, one would not expect the presence of multiple and serial drug offenders in the Army. Data for FY 2001 – FY 2009 indicate otherwise.76 Drug testing results reveal that of the total number of Soldiers tested, 3.5% (58,687 of 1,662,004) were positive for illicit drug use (see Table 7, page 50). That includes Soldiers who tested positive one, two or three or more times. When separated into these specific categories, 36,470 (62%) were first time positives, 11,828 (20%) were multiple, and 10,389 (18%) were serial offenders."

"Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report," United States Army (Washington, DC: 2010), p. 77.
http://www.armyg1.army.mil...

80. Drug-Positive Rates In US Military

"While the overall illicit drug use rate is holding constant, the number of MRO reviews is increasing (includes legitimate prescription drug use and positive UAs for other pharmaceutical drugs; see Figure 15, page 54). As previously noted, current policy governing prescription drug use may be masking illicit drug use due to open-ended prescriptions. Overall use of amphetamines (including both legal and illegal) is growing at a rate of 2.8 percent per year for all COMPOS. This means that by the end of next year it is expected that there will be over 5,000 MRO [Medical Regulating Officer] reviewable positive tests for amphetamines alone. Among the street drugs, marijuana is increasing significantly within the National Guard population. In fact, if we look at the rate of THC positives over the last four years, it is predicted that over 7,500 Guard Soldiers will test positive for THC this year."

"Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report," United States Army (Washington, DC: 2010), p. 78.
http://www.armyg1.army.mil...

81. Tobacco Use Among Military Personnel

"For the DoD services, the percentage of military personnel who smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days decreased significantly from 51% in 1980 to 30% in 1998. It increased significantly from 1998 (30%) to 2002 (34%), and while not showing significant declines in 2005 (32%) and in 2008 (31%), has been slowly trending downward since 2002."

Robert M. Bray, et al., "2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel, A Component of the Defense Lifestyle Assessment Program (DLAP)" (Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International, Sept. 2009), p. 46.
http://www.tricare.mil/tma/200...

82. Binge Drinking Among Military Personnel

"In 2008, 47% of all DoD services personnel were binge drinkers. For all DoD services, binge drinking increased between 1998 and 2008 but was stable between 2005 and 2008.
"For each service, binge drinking also increased overall between 1998 and 2008. Between 2005 and 2008, binge drinking rates significantly increased for the Navy and the Air Force and were stable for the Army and the Marine Corps."

Robert M. Bray, et al., "2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel, A Component of the Defense Lifestyle Assessment Program (DLAP)" (Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International, Sept. 2009), p. 46.
http://www.tricare.mil/tma/200...

83. Heavy Drinking, Military Personnel Compared with Civilian Population

"Military personnel aged 18 to 25 showed significantly higher rates of heavy drinking (26%) than did civilians (16%).
"Likewise, military personnel aged 26 to 35 showed higher rates of heavy drinking (18%) than did their civilian counterparts (11%). For those aged 36 to 45, this rate was slightly higher for military personnel than civilians (10% vs. 8%) though this difference did not reach statistical significance.
"Among those aged 46 to 64, military personnel exhibited lower rates of heavy alcohol use (4%) than did civilians (9%).
"Across all age groups, military personnel showed significantly higher rates of heavy drinking (20%) than did civilians (14%)."

Robert M. Bray, et al., "2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel, A Component of the Defense Lifestyle Assessment Program (DLAP)" (Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International, Sept. 2009), p. 54.
http://www.tricare.mil/tma/200...

84. Drug Usage - Data - 2003 - 2-7-10

(Drug Use by Veterans, 2003) "In 2003, there were an estimated 25 million veterans comprising roughly 11.5 percent of the 217 million non-institutionalized civilians aged 17 or older in the United States."
"An estimated 3.5 percent of veterans used marijuana in the past month compared with 3.0 percent of their nonveteran counterparts in 2003"
"Heavy use of alcohol was more prevalent among veterans than comparable nonveterans, with an estimated 7.5 percent of veterans drinking heavily in the past month compared with 6.5 percent of their nonveteran counterparts."
"Using criteria from the DSM-IV, an estimated 2.6 percent of veterans were dependent on alcohol in the past year (Figure 2). A much smaller proportion of veterans (0.9 percent) was dependent on illicit drugs in the past year."
"An estimated 0.8 percent of veterans received specialty treatment4 for a substance use disorder (alcohol or illicit drugs) in the past year compared with 0.5 percent of their nonveteran counterparts (Figure 3). An estimated 2.8 percent of veterans were dependent on illicit drugs or alcohol but did not receive treatment in the past year.5 A similar proportion of comparable nonveterans went untreated."

Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "Substance Use, Dependence, and Treatment among Veterans," (Rockville, MD: The NSDUH Report, November 2005).
http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k5/...

85. Global Burden of Disease, Mental Health, and Substance Use Disorders

"In 2010, mental and substance use disorders accounted for 183.9 million DALYs [Disability-Adjusted Life Years] (95% UI 153.5 million–216.7 million), or 7.4% (6.2–8.6) of all DALYs worldwide. Such disorders accounted for 8.6 million YLLs [Years of Life Lost] (6.5 million–12.1 million; 0.5% [0.4–0.7] of all YLLs) and 175.3 million YLDs [Years Lived with Disability] (144.5 million–207.8 million; 22.9% [18.6–27.2] of all YLDs). Mental and substance use disorders were the leading cause of YLDs worldwide. Depressive disorders accounted for 40.5% (31.7–49.2) of DALYs caused by mental and substance use disorders, with anxiety disorders accounting for 14.6% (11.2–18.4), illicit drug use disorders for 10.9% (8.9–13.2), alcohol use disorders for 9.6% (7.7–11.8), schizophrenia for 7.4% (5.0–9.8), bipolar disorder for 7.0% (4.4–10.3), pervasive developmental disorders for 4.2% (3.2–5.3), childhood behavioural disorders for 3.4% (2.2–4.7), and eating disorders for 1.2% (0.9–1.5). DALYs varied by age and sex, with the highest proportion of total DALYs occurring in people aged 10–29 years. The burden of mental and substance use disorders increased by 37.6% between 1990 and 2010, which for most disorders was driven by population growth and ageing."

Harvey A Whiteford, Louisa Degenhardt, Jürgen Rehm, Amanda J Baxter, Alize J Ferrari, Holly E Erskine, Fiona J Charlson, Rosana E Norman, Abraham D Flaxman, Nicole Johns, Roy Burstein, Christopher JL Murray, and Theo Vos, "Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010," The Lancet, 29 August 2013 (Article in Press DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61611-6).
http://www.thelancet.com...

86. Drug Usage - Research - 3-31-12

(Use Unrelated to Enforcement) "Opponents of drug policy reform commonly argue that drug use would increase if health-based models were emphasized over drug law enforcement,14 but we are unaware of any research to support this position. In fact, a recent World Health Organization study demonstrated that international rates of drug use were unrelated to how vigorously drug laws were enforced, concluding that 'countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones.'15"

Wood, Evan; McKinnon, Moira; Strang, Robert; and Kendall, Perry R., " Improving community health and safety in Canada through evidence-based policies on illegal drugs," Open Medicine (Ottawa, Canada: 2012) Vol 6, No 1, p. 1.
http://www.openmedicine.ca/art...

87. Chronic Substance Use and Employment

"In conclusion, this study found that chronic drug use was significantly related to employment status for men and women. On the other hand, male chronic drug users were less likely to participate in the labor force, but no significant relationship existed between chronic drug use and labor force participation for females. Perhaps the most important finding of this study, however, was the lack of any significant relationships between nonchronic drug use, employment, and labor force participation. An implication of this finding is that employers and policy makers should focus on problematic drug users in the same way that they focus on problematic alcohol users."

French, Michael T., M. Christopher Roebuck, and Pierre Kebreau Alexandre, "Illicit Drug Use, Employment, and Labor Force Participation," Southern Economic Journal (Southern Economic Association: Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 2001), 68(2), p. 366.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/1061598

88. Alcohol and Other Drug Use and Employment

Sociopolitical Research

"There were little or no differences in the probability of employment by lifetime alcohol and drug use patterns. Men who had an alcohol disorder at some point in their life were equally likely as men who had never drunk alcohol to be currently employed (.91) and only slightly less likely than moderate alcohol users (.91 vs. .92, p=.09). Similarly, men who had a drug disorder at some point in their life were somewhat less likely (.90 vs. 92, p=.07) to be currently employed, but there was no statistically difference between moderate drug users and non-users. Differences among men by their current (last 12 months) alcohol and, especially, drug use patterns were greater. Current moderate alcohol drinkers were actually more likely than those who had not drunk alcohol in the last year to be employed (.93 vs. 91), while those with a current alcohol problem were less likely to be employed than either moderate or nondrinkers (.89). In contrast to moderate alcohol users, current moderate drug users were less likely to be employed than nonusers (.88 vs. .92). Men with a current drug problem were substantially less likely to be employed (.82) than either moderate or non drug users."

Zuvekas S, Cooper PF, Buchmueller TC. Health Behaviors and Labor Market Status: The Impact of Substance Abuse. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Working Paper No. 05013, April 2005, p. 12.
http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/d...

89. Progression of Drug Use Among Young Adults in Large Cities in the US

"In conclusion, patterns of prescription drug misuse among high-risk young adults in LA and NY appear to conform to and be shaped by differences in local markets for illicit drugs in each city. Our findings indicate that current misuse of prescription drugs in both cities encompasses a broad range of practices, such as sniffing, injecting, polydrug use, and drug substitution, and involves frequent misuse of illicit substances. Initiation into prescription drug misuse was often preceded by being prescribed one or more types of prescription drugs, which was then followed by initiating illicit drugs with similar psychotropic effects."

Lankenau, Stephen E.; Schrager, Sheree M.; Silva, Karol; Kecojevic, Alex; Bloom, Jennifer Jackson; Wong, Carolyn; and Iverson, Ellen, "Misuse of prescription and illicit drugs among high-risk young adults in Los Angeles and New York," Journal of Public Health Research (Pravia, Italy: February 14, 2012) Vol 1, No 1, p. 29.
http://www.jphres.org/index.ph...

90. Marijuana Decriminalization and Substitution Effects

"In conclusion, our results suggest that participation in the use of both licit and illicit drugs is price sensitive. Participation is sensitive to own prices and the price of the other drugs. In
particular, we conclude that cannabis and cigarettes are complements, and there is some evidence to suggest that cannabis and alcohol are
substitutes, although decriminalization of cannabis corresponds with higher alcohol use. Alcohol and cigarettes are found to be complements.
"The results also show that the liberalized legal status of cannabis in South Australia coincides with higher cannabis participation on average over the period under investigation. In South Australia, where possession of small amounts of cannabis is no longer a criminal offence, the probability of use is estimated to be 2.0 percentage points higher than elsewhere based on the pooled sample of data. Further investigation revealed that although participation increased in South Australia shortly after the liberalization of the cannabis laws, the effect of decriminalization was transitory and had disappeared in seven years. In addition, our results indicate that the increase in participation was due to individuals over 30 delaying giving up cannabis use as a result of its changed legal status, not an increase in use
by younger people. This finding provides an explanation of why US studies based on youth fail to find that decriminalization has an impact on
the probability of cannabis use, while studies based on adults and youth, or just adults, do find a positive association between decriminalization and participation in cannabis use."

Cameron, Lisa & Williams, Jenny, "Cannabis, Alcohol and Cigarettes: Substitutes or Complements?" The Economic Record (Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia: The Economic Society of Australia, March 2001), p. 32.
http://cms.sem.tsinghua.edu.cn...

91. Use in Low Income Areas

"Although residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, neighborhoods with high concentrations of minorities, and neighborhoods with high population densities reported much higher levels of visible drug sales, they reported only slightly higher levels of drug use, along with somewhat higher levels of drug dependency. This finding indicates that conflating drug sales with use, so that poor and minority areas are assumed to be the focus of the problem of drug use, is plainly wrong. The finding is based on the data collected across 41 sites, including city and suburban (but not rural) areas in all regions."

Saxe, Leonard, PhD, Charles Kadushin, PhD, Andrew Beveridge, PhD, et al., "The Visibility of Illicit Drugs: Implications for Community-Based Drug Control Strategies," American Journal of Public Health (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, Dec. 2001), Vol. 91, No. 12, p. 1991.
http://ajph.aphapublications.o...

92. Occupational Injury

"We conclude that there is an association between substance use and occupational injury. This association is stronger for males and in certain industries, such as manufacturing and construction, and may also be stronger for younger workers, though future research is needed on this last point. The proportion of injuries caused by substance use, however, is relatively small. Instead, there is mounting evidence that harmful substance use is one of a constellation of behaviors exhibited by certain individuals who may avoid work-related safety precautions and take greater work-related risks. Thus, we suspect that it is more likely that risk-taking dispositions, often termed deviance proneness, and other omitted factors can explain most empirical associations between substance use and injuries at work."

Ramchand, Rajeev; Pomeroy, Amanda; Arkes, Jeremy, "The Effects of Substance Use on Workplace Injuries" Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2009), p. 31.
http://www.rand.org/content/da...

93. Income and Relationship Status

"Legal and illegal use of drugs was most strongly associated with age, sex, and income. Higher income was associated with a greater likelihood of drug use for all drug types examined, which is perhaps not surprising given that drug use requires disposable income. Relationship status was linked to illegal (but not legal) drug use: both cocaine and cannabis use were more likely among persons who had never been married or previously been married."

Degenhardt, Louisa; Chiu, Wai-Tat; Sampson, Nancy; Kessler, Ronald C.; Anthony, James C.; Angermeyer, Matthias; Bruffaerts, Ronny; Girolamo, Giovanni de; Gureje, Oye; Huang, Yueqin; Karam, Aimee; Kostyuchenko, Stanislav; Lepine, Jean Pierre; Mora, Maria Elena Medina; Neumark, Yehuda; Ormel, J. Hans; Pinto-Meza, Alejandra; Posada-Villa, Jose´; Stein, Dan J.; Takeshima, Tadashi; Wells, J. Elisabeth, "Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys," Plos Medicine (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Public Library of Science, July 2008) Vol. 5, Issue 7, p. 1062.
http://www.plosmedicine.org...

94. Disadvantaged Areas

"Although serious drug use is slightly more prevalent in poor minority neighborhoods than elsewhere, the major problem for disadvantaged neighborhoods is drug distribution. These communities are victims not only of their own drug abuse but also of a criminal drug market that serves the entire society. The market establishes itself in disadvantaged communities in part because of the low social capital in these neighborhoods. The drug economy further erodes that social capital."

Saxe, Leonard, PhD, Charles Kadushin, PhD, Andrew Beveridge, PhD, et al., "The Visibility of Illicit Drugs: Implications for Community-Based Drug Control Strategies," American Journal of Public Health (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, Dec. 2001), Vol. 91, No. 12, p. 1992.
http://ajph.aphapublications.o...

95. Punitive Drug Control Policies Have Limited Effects

"The use of drugs seems to be a feature of more affluent countries. The US, which has been driving much of the world’s drug research and drug policy agenda, stands out with higher levels of use of alcohol, cocaine, and cannabis, despite punitive illegal drug policies, as well as (in many US states), a higher minimum legal alcohol drinking age than many comparable developed countries. The Netherlands, with a less criminally punitive approach to cannabis use than the US, has experienced lower levels of use, particularly among younger adults. Clearly, by itself, a punitive policy towards possession and use accounts for limited variation in nation level rates of illegal drug use."

Degenhardt, Louisa; Chiu, Wai-Tat; Sampson, Nancy; Kessler; Ronald C.; Anthon, James C.; Angermeyer, Matthias; Bruffaerts, Ronny; Girolamo, de Giovanni ; Gureje, Oye; Huang, Yueqin; Karam, Aimee; Kostyuchenko, Stanislav; Lepine, Jean Pierre; Mora, Maria Elena Medina; Neumark, Yehuda; Ormel, J. Hans; Pinto-Meza, Alejandra; Posada-Villa, Jose; Stein, Dan J.; Takeshima, Tadashi; Wells, J. Elisabeth, "Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys," PLoS Medicine (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Public Library of Science, July 2008) Vol. 5, Issue 7, p. 1062.
http://www.plosmedicine.org...

96. Stigmatization

"Because the impacts of problem drug users are largely hidden, and also because their number is actually relatively small (approximately 330,000; Hay et al., 2008),22 people’s understanding of problem drug use tends to come from remote sources – the media (including the internet, television, films, magazines and books) and anecdote – rather than from direct experience. This provides fertile ground for the growth of myths and stereotypes: for example, the prevalent belief in instant addiction and the myth of the drug dealer offering free drugs at the school gates."

Lloyd, Charlie, "Sinning and Sinned Against: The Stigmatisation of Problem Drug Users," (London, United Kingdom: UK Drug Policy Commission, August 2010)p. 49.
http://www.ukdpc.org.uk/public...

97. Sewage Testing

"Some scientists have recently turned to the sewer to develop a more accurate estimate of drug use. They examine tiny samples of raw sewage for the presence of illicit drugs and their metabolites in a science known as sewer epidemiology.4 These samples are essentially a diluted urine test collected from an entire community,5 making them akin to a “community urinalysis.”6 The basic science is simple: nearly every drug ingested into the body is eventually excreted and finds its way into the sewer system, allowing scientists to profile a community’s drug use based on objective data."

Hering, Christopher L., "Flushing the Fourth Amendment Down the Toilet: How Community Urinalysis Threatens Individual Liberty," Arizona Law Review (Tuscon, AZ: The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, 2009) Volume 51, Issue 3, p. 742.
http://www.arizonalawreview.or...

98. Drug Usage - MTF - History of the Monitoring the Future Survey Project

Monitoring the Future Survey

(MTF History) "Monitoring the Future (MTF) is designed to give sustained attention to substance use among the nation’s youth and adults. It is an investigator-initiated study that originated with and is conducted by a team of research professors at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Since its onset in 1975, MTF has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse — one of the National Institutes of Health — under a series of peer-reviewed, competitive research grants. The 2014 survey, reported here, is the 40th consecutive survey of 12th-grade students and the 24th such survey of 8th and 10th graders.
"MTF contains ongoing series of national surveys of both American adolescents and adults. It provides the nation with a vital window into the important but largely hidden problem behaviors of illegal drug use, alcohol abuse, tobacco use, anabolic steroid abuse, and psychotherapeutic drug abuse. For four decades MTF has helped provide a clearer view of the changing topography of these problems among adolescents and adults, a better understanding of the dynamics of factors that drive some of these problems, and a better understanding of some of their consequences. It has also given policymakers, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the field some practical approaches for intervening."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (June 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on
drug use, 1975–2014: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 1.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

99. Long Term Trends In Prevalence of Marijuana Use Among Youth

"Marijuana use declined in the early 2000s, but subsequently rebounded before leveling in the past couple of years. In 2014 the percentage of youth who used marijuana in the past year among students in 12th, 10th, and 8th grade was 35.1%, 27.3%, and 11.7%, respectively.
"It is important to note that 8th grade students were the first to show the two major shifts in marijuana prevalence — an increase at the start of the 1990s and a decrease by the end of the 1990s. As mentioned above, this suggests that 8th graders may be the most immediately responsive to changing influences in the larger social environment. The lag in the decline in the later grades likely reflects some cohort effects (i.e., lingering effects of changes in use that occurred when the students were in lower grades).
"Levels of annual marijuana use today are considerably lower than the historic highs observed in the late 1970s, when more than half of U.S. 12th graders had used marijuana in the past year. This high point marked the pinnacle of a rise in marijuana use from relatively negligible levels before the 1960s.2
"Important changes in young people’s attitudes and beliefs about marijuana use have occurred over the study period, and these changes can account for much of the long-term decline in use, as well as the increase in use during the 1990s drug relapse. Chapter 8 contains a more thorough discussion of this issue.
"• Figure 5-4a and Table 5-5d provide trends in daily marijuana use. These trends depart somewhat from the typical pattern seen for drug use because, among 12th graders, today’s level of use is actually higher than it was at the end of the 1990s relapse period. Although daily use of marijuana declined somewhat in 2014 as compared to the previous year, the average level since 2010 (i.e., 2011–2014 combined) is the highest recorded in the past two decades. (See Chapter 10 for additional information on the cumulative amount of daily marijuana use among 12th graders. It shows that the proportion using marijuana daily for a month or more at any time in the past is considerably higher than the proportion reporting daily marijuana use during just the past month.) The overall trends follow a similar pattern in 12th, 10th, and 8th grade, and in 2014 prevalence levels of daily marijuana use were 5.8%, 3.4%, and 1.0%, respectively. About one in every 17 twelfth-grade high school students in 2014 was a daily or near-daily marijuana user.
"Still, the percentage of youth using marijuana on a daily basis today is substantially lower than its peak in the late 1970s, when it reached a high of 10.7% among 12th grade students. As we will discuss in Chapter 8, we think much of the decline from this peak is attributable to a very substantial increase in teens’ concerns about possible adverse effects from regular use and to a growing perception that peers disapproved of marijuana use, particularly regular use. The recent surge in daily marijuana use since 2009 among 12th-grade students tracks with concurrent, decreasing levels of perceived harmfulness and disapproval of regular marijuana use.
"• In 2014 marijuana use showed a one-year, slight decline in lifetime, annual, thirty-day, and daily use in all three grades. This finding is unexpected in light of the positive publicity marijuana has received in recent years prior to the data collection in 2014, with several states allowing medical marijuana use and two states (Colorado and Washington) legalizing recreational use for adults. Further, perceived risk of marijuana use among adolescents has declined in recent years (discussed in more detail in Chapter 8), which also supports an expectation for an increase in marijuana use this year. The study results point to the need for further qualitative and quantitative research to analyze why marijuana use has not increased in the last two or three years as expected."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (June 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on
drug use, 1975–2014: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 148-149.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

100. Cigarette Use Among US Youth, 2014

"Prevalence of cigarettes is generally higher than for any of the illicit drugs, except for marijuana. More than one fifth (22.3%) of 12th graders reported having tried cigarettes at some time, and one in seventeen (5.7%) smoked in the prior 30 days. Even among 8th graders, one tenth (10%) reported having tried cigarettes and 2.3% reported smoking in the prior 30 days. Among 10th graders, 14.2% reported having tried cigarettes, and 3.4% reported smoking in the prior 30 days. The percentages reporting smoking cigarettes in the prior 30 days are actually far lower in all three grades in 2019 than the percentages reporting using marijuana in the prior 30 days: 2.3% for cigarettes versus 6.6% for marijuana in 8th grade; 3.4% versus 18.4% in 10th grade; and 5.7% versus 22.3% in 12th grade. These numbers reflect mostly the considerable, steady decline in cigarette use that has occurred over the past two decades. Among 8th, 10th and 12th graders, lifetime prevalence of marijuana use in 2019 was also higher than lifetime prevalence of cigarette use. (Annual prevalence of cigarette use is not assessed.)"

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

101. Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs and Narcotics Other Than Heroin Among US Youth

"Any prescription drug misuse includes use of narcotics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and/or amphetamines without medical supervision. It has been of considerable public health concern in recent years, because most of these drugs showed a substantial increase in use in the 1990s, which then continued into the first decade of the 2000s, when many of the illegal drugs already were in decline.
"Only 12th-graders report on their use of all of these drugs; they show a statistically significant decline between 2013 and 2014, from 16 percent to 14 percent, saying that they used one or more of these prescription drugs in the 12 months prior to the survey. The gradual turnaround began after 2005, when 17 percent indicated misuse of any of these drugs.
"'It's not as much progress as we might like to see, but at least the number of students using these dangerous prescription drugs is finally declining,' Johnston said.
"Narcotic drugs other than heroin—among the most dangerous of the prescription drugs—have been declining in use by 12th-graders since 2009, when 9 percent indicated using them without medical supervision in the prior 12 months. Their use continued to drop significantly, from 7 percent in 2013 to 6 percent in 2014. Use of these drugs is reported only for 12th grade; students are reporting that these drugs are increasingly difficult to obtain.
"Use in the prior 12 months of the specific narcotic analgesic OxyContin also declined this year, significantly so in 8th grade. OxyContin use reached a recent peak among adolescents around 2009 and use has declined since then in all three grades. The 2014 reports of use in the past 12 months stand at 1.0 percent, 3.0 percent and 3.3 percent in grades 8, 10 and 12, respectively."

Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Miech, R.A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (December 16, 2014). "Use of alcohol, cigarettes, and a number of illicit drugs declines among U.S. teens," University of Michigan News Service: Ann Arbor, MI, pp. 3-4.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

102. Perceived Effect of Legalization on Youth

"Most 12th graders felt that they would be little affected personally by the legalization of either the sale or the use of marijuana. Over half (56%) of the respondents said that they would not use the drug even if it were legal to buy and use, while others indicated they would use it about as often as they do now (15%) or less often (1.5%). Only 9% said they would use it more often than they do at present, while 10% thought they would try it. Another 9% said they did not know how their behavior would be affected if marijuana were legalized. Still, this amounts to 19% of all seniors, or about one in five, who thought that they would try marijuana, or that their use would increase, if marijuana were legalized."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E. & Miech, R. A. (2014). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2013: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 400-401.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

103. Perceived Availability of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Among US Youth

"• Substantial differences were found in perceived availability of the various drugs. In general, the more widely used drugs are reported to be available by higher proportions of the age group, as would be expected (see Tables 9-6, 9-7, and 9-8). Also, older age groups generally perceive drugs to be more available. For example, in 2013, 39% of 8th graders said marijuana would be fairly easy or very easy to get (which we refer to as 'readily available'), versus 70% of 10th graders and 81% of 12th graders. In fact, compared to 8th graders, the proportion of 12th graders indicating that drugs are available to them is two to four times as high for other drugs included in the study and five times as high for narcotics other than heroin. (Tranquilizers, on the other hand, are reported as only a little less available by 8th graders.) Both associations are consistent with the notion that availability is largely attained through friendship circles. (A section in Chapter 10 documents where 12th graders obtain prescription drugs that are not medically prescribed, and friends clearly are the leading source.) The differences among age groups may also reflect less willingness and/or motivation on the part of those who deal drugs to establish contact with younger adolescents. Because many inhalants — such as glues, butane, and aerosols — are universally available, we do not ask about their availability. See Table 9-8 for the full list of drugs included in the questions for 12th graders; a few of these drugs were not asked of the younger students (see Tables 9-6 and 9-7).
"• Measures on the availability of cigarettes are not included in the 12th-grade questionnaires because we have assumed that they are almost universally available to this age group. However, data on this measure are collected from 8th and 10th graders, which clearly show that cigarettes are readily available to most of them. In 2013, 50% of 8th graders and 71% of 10th graders thought that cigarettes would be fairly easy or very easy for them to get if they wanted some.
"• The great majority of teens also see alcohol as readily available: In 2013, 56% of 8th graders, 77% of 10th graders, and 90% of 12th graders said it would be fairly easy or very easy to get."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E. & Miech, R. A. (2014). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2013: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 452-453.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

104. Any Drug Use vs Specific Drug Use

"Overall, these data reveal that, while use of individual drugs (other than marijuana) may fluctuate widely, the proportion using any of them is much more stable. In other words, the proportion of students prone to using such drugs and willing to cross the normative barriers to such use changes more gradually. The usage rate for each individual drug, on the other hand, reflects many more rapidly changing determinants specific to that drug: how widely its psychoactive potential is recognized, how favorable the reports of its supposed benefits are, how risky its use is seen to be, how acceptable it is in the peer group, how accessible it is, and so on."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2013). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2012. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 10.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

105. Annual Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs by US Youth in Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined, 1998-2014


Table: Annual Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs by US Youth in Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined, 1998-2014

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (February 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use: 1975-2014: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Table 2, p. 56.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

106. Estimated Daily Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs By US Youth In Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined

Table: Estimated Daily Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs By US Youth In Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (February 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use: 1975-2014: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Table 4, p. 58.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...