Decline in Young Adult Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use

The number of people ages 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes in the past month declined from 2.0 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2011 (14.3 percent decrease), according to SAMHSA’s 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). These findings show that national efforts to address the problem of prescription drug misuse may be beginning to bear fruit, and we must continue to apply this pressure to drive down this and other forms of substance use,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. As the primary source of statistical information on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the United States, NSDUH provides unique insights into current trends in the behavioral health issues that affect communities nationwide. The survey, released by SAMHSA in conjunction with the 23rd annual National Recovery Month observance, also showed that the rates of past-month drinking, binge drinking, and heavy drinking among people under age 21 continued to decline from 2002, as did the rate of past-month tobacco use among youth ages 12 to 17 and among young adults ages 18 to 25.
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