Prevalence of Past-Year Use of Banned Substances in the US Among People Aged 12 or Older

"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 61.2 million people used illicit drugs in the past year (Figure 14). The most commonly used illicit drug in the past year was marijuana, which was used by 52.5 million people. The second most common type of illicit drug use in the past year was the misuse of prescription pain relievers, which were misused by 8.7 million people. Smaller numbers of people were past year users of the other illicit drugs shown in Figure 14.35"
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 21.9 percent (or 61.2 million people) used illicit drugs in the past year (Figures 14 and 15 and Table A.6B). The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (38.0 percent or 12.7 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (20.3 percent or 44.8 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (14.1 percent or 3.7 million people)."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 1.7 percent (or 4.8 million people) used cocaine in the past year (Figures 14 and 18 and Table A.7B). The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (3.5 percent or 1.2 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (1.6 percent or 3.6 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (0.2 percent or 40,000 people).

"In 2021, an estimated 0.4 percent of people aged 12 or older (or 996,000 people) used crack in the past year (Table A.7B). The percentage was lowest among adolescents aged 12 to 17 (less than 0.1 percent or 3,000 people). An estimated 0.2 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 (or 74,000 people) and 0.4 percent of adults aged 26 or older (or 919,000 people) used crack in the past year."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 0.9 percent (or 2.5 million people) used methamphetamine in the past year (Figures 14 and 19 and Table A.7B). Adolescents aged 12 to 17 had the lowest estimate of past year methamphetamine use (0.1 percent or 37,000 people). Percentages increased with age (0.5 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 or 166,000 people; 1.1 percent of adults aged 26 or older or 2.3 million people)."
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"Several drugs are grouped under the category of hallucinogens, including LSD, PCP, peyote, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, “Ecstasy” (MDMA or “Molly”), ketamine, DMT/AMT/“Foxy,” and Salvia divinorum.36 In 2021, 2.6 percent of people aged 12 or older (or 7.4 million people) used hallucinogens in the past year (Figures 14 and 19 and Table A.7B). The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (7.1 percent or 2.4 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (2.1 percent or 4.7 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (1.3 percent or 347,000 people)."
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"Inhalants include volatile solvents (e.g., paint thinners and removers, dry cleaning fluids, degreasers, gasoline, glues, shoe polish, correction fluids, felt-tip markers), aerosols (e.g., spray paints, deodorant and hair sprays, fabric protector sprays, computer keyboard cleaner), gases (e.g., ether, halothane, nitrous oxide, butane, propane), and nitrites (e.g., amyl nitrite, “poppers,” locker room deodorizers, “rush”). NSDUH respondents were asked to report the use of inhalants to get high but not to include accidental inhalation of a substance.

"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 0.8 percent (or 2.2 million people) used inhalants in the past year (Figures 14 and 19 and Table A.7B). Unlike other illicit drug use estimates, the percentage was highest among adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2.4 percent or 626,000 people). Percentages decreased with age (1.5 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 or 497,000 people; 0.5 percent of adults aged 26 or older or 1.1 million people)."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 5.1 percent (or 14.3 million people) misused prescription psychotherapeutic drugs in the past year (Table A.7B). The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (7.4 percent or 2.5 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (5.0 percent or 10.9 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (3.3 percent or 851,000 people).

"Of the prescription drugs presented in this report, prescription pain relievers were the most commonly misused prescription drug by people aged 12 or older. The 14.3 million people in 2021 who misused prescription psychotherapeutic drugs in the past year included 8.7 million people who misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people who misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives (including 3.9 million past year misusers of benzodiazepines), and 3.7 million people who misused prescription stimulants (Figure 14)."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 1.3 percent (or 3.7 million people) misused prescription stimulants in the past year (Figures 14 and 20 and Table A.7B). The percentage was higher among young adults aged 18 to 25 (3.7 percent or 1.2 million people) than among adolescents aged 12 to 17 (1.2 percent or 304,000 people) or adults aged 26 or older (1.0 percent or 2.2 million people)."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 1.7 percent (or 4.9 million people) misused tranquilizers or sedatives in the past year (Figures 14 and 20 and Table A.7B). The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (2.6 percent or 874,000 people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (1.7 percent or 3.8 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (0.9 percent or 225,000 people)."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 1.4 percent (or 3.9 million people) misused prescription benzodiazepines in the past year (Table A.7B). The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (2.4 percent or 787,000 people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (1.3 percent or 3.0 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (0.7 percent or 181,000 people)."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 3.1 percent (or 8.7 million people) misused prescription pain relievers in the past year (Figures 14 and 20 and Table A.7B). The percentage was lower among adolescents aged 12 to 17 (1.9 percent or 497,000 people) than among young adults aged 18 to 25 (3.0 percent or 1.0 million people) or adults aged 26 or older (3.3 percent or 7.2 million people)."
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 3.3 percent (or 9.2 million people) misused opioids in the past year (Figure 24 and Table A.7B). Similar to the misuse of prescription pain relievers in the past year, the percentage of people who misused opioids in the past year was lowest among adolescents aged 12 to 17 (1.9 percent or 497,000 people). Percentages were similar among young adults aged 18 to 25 (3.1 percent or 1.0 million people) and adults aged 26 or older (3.5 percent or 7.7 million people).

"The vast majority of people who misused opioids in the past year misused prescription pain relievers (Figure 24). Specifically, 8.7 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription pain relievers in the past year compared with 1.1 million people who used heroin. In 2021, the majority of the 8.7 million misusers of prescription pain relievers misused only prescription pain relievers in the past year (8.1 million people), but they had not used heroin. An estimated 574,000 people misused prescription pain relievers and used heroin in the past year, and 525,000 people used heroin in the past year but had not misused prescription pain relievers.27"
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"Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 3.3 percent (or 9.2 million people) misused CNS stimulants in the past year (Figure 25 and Table A.7B). The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (6.3 percent or 2.1 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (3.1 percent or 6.7 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (1.3 percent or 339,000 people).

"Of the 9.2 million people in 2021 who misused CNS stimulants in the past year, 230,000 used or misused all three CNS stimulants in the past year (2.5 percent of people who misused CNS stimulants) (Figure 25). About one third of people who misused CNS stimulants in the past year used only cocaine (36.9 percent of CNS stimulant misusers or 3.4 million people), about one fourth misused only prescription stimulants (27.7 percent of CNS stimulant misusers or 2.5 million people), and about 1 in 6 used only methamphetamine (17.5 percent of CNS stimulant misusers or 1.6 million people). In addition to the 230,000 people who used or misused all three CNS stimulants in the past year, 701,000 people used cocaine and misused prescription stimulants but did not use methamphetamine (7.6 percent of CNS stimulant misusers), 452,000 used cocaine and methamphetamine but did not misuse prescription stimulants (4.9 percent of CNS stimulant misusers), and 257,000 used methamphetamine and misused prescription stimulants but did not use cocaine (2.8 percent of CNS stimulant misusers).27"

Source: 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP22-07-01-005, NSDUH Series H-57). Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.