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

"• Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 21.4 percent (or 59.3 million people) used illicit drugs in the past year.

"• In 2020, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, with 17.9 percent of people aged 12 or older (or 49.6 million people) using it in the past year. The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (34.5 percent or 11.6 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (16.3 percent or 35.5 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (10.1 percent or 2.5 million people).

"• Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.7 percent (or 10.3 million people) misused central nervous system (CNS) stimulants in the past year. Among the 10.3 million people who misused CNS stimulants in the past year, about one third used only cocaine (32.4 percent of CNS stimulant misusers or 3.3 million people), about one third misused only prescription stimulants (32.3 percent of CNS stimulant misusers or 3.3 million people), and about 1 in 7 used only methamphetamine (14.4 percent of CNS stimulant misusers or 1.5 million people). An estimated 353,000 people used or misused all three CNS stimulants in the past year (3.4 percent of CNS stimulant misusers).

"• Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.4 percent (or 9.5 million people) misused opioids (heroin or prescription pain relievers) in the past year. Among the 9.5 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 9.3 million people misused prescription pain relievers compared with 902,000 people who used heroin.

"• Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.3 percent (or 9.3 million people) misused prescription pain relievers in the past year. The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (4.1 percent or 1.4 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (3.4 percent or 7.5 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (1.6 percent or 396,000 people).

"• In 2020, 2.6 percent of people aged 12 or older (or 7.1 million people) used hallucinogens in the past year. The percentage among young adults aged 18 to 25 (7.3 percent or 2.4 million people) was higher than the percentages among adolescents aged 12 to 17 (1.5 percent or 370,000 people) or adults aged 26 or older (2.0 percent or 4.3 million people)."

Source: 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP21-07-01-003, NSDUH Series H-56). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.