National Survey Shows a Rise in Illicit Drug Use from 2008 to 2010

The use of illicit drugs among Americans increased between 2008 and 2010, according to a national survey conducted by SAMHSA. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that 22.6 million Americans age 12 or older (8.9 percent of the population) were current illicit drug users. The rate of use in 2010 was similar to the rate in 2009 (8.7 percent), but remained above the 2008 rate (8.0 percent). Another disturbing trend is the continuing rise in the rate of current illicit drug use among young adults age 18 to 25—from 19.6 percent in 2008 to 21.2 percent in 2009 and 21.5 percent in 2010. This increase was also driven in large part by a rise in the rate of current marijuana use among this population. The annual NSDUH survey, released by SAMHSA at the kickoff of the 22nd annual National Recovery Month observance, is a scientifically conducted annual survey of approximately 67,500 people throughout the country, age 12 and older. Because of its statistical power, NSDUH is the Nation’s premier source of statistical information on the scope and nature of many behavioral health issues.