Drug Abuse - Drug Abuse Substance use has fluctuated...

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Drug Abuse Substance use has fluctuated nationally since the mid-70s when the government and other independent sources began collecting data on this behavior. Over the past 5-10 years, the level of substance use has remained relatively stable; however, research indicates changes in the types of drugs used. Each year, a number of national surveys are conducted to determine the prevalence of substance use in this country, the number of new users (or incidence of the behavior), and the attitudes of users and non-users. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) is a household survey conducted by the federal government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) . The most recent data from 1999 report: An estimated 14.8 million Americans currently use illicit drugs, representing 6.7 percent of the population 12 and older. Marijuana is the most common illicit drug, used by 75% of people reporting illicit substance use. Approximately 43% of the population (an estimated 6.4 million Americans) use other illicit drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, crack, hallucinogens, and other psychotherapeutic medications taken non-medically or without prescription. Tobacco and alcohol misuse are other aspects of substance use that are tracked by national surveys. More than 30% of the population surveyed in the 1999 NHSDA reported current use of tobacco, with the vast majority smoking cigarettes. About 45 million Americans (an estimated 20.2%) reported engaging in binge drinking episodes, defined as having 5 or more drinks on one occasion during the 30 days prior to the survey. Over 12 million Americans (an estimated 5.6 percent) were identified as heavy drinkers, having 5 or more drinks on one occasion 5 or more times during the 30 days prior to the survey. Although consumption of alcohol is illegal for those under 21, 10.4 million drinkers were ages 12-20 in 1999. In this group, 6.8 million (approximately 65%) engaged in binge drinking. Variation by Age Rates and patterns of drug use tend to vary by age. For example, 4.1 percent of 12 year olds surveyed in the NHSDA reported current (use within the past month) illicit drug use. Among this age group, the primary illicit drugs of choice were inhalants and psychotherapeutics (2.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively). Only 0.6 percent of the 12 year olds used marijuana. However, by age 14, marijuana was the dominant drug, with a prevalence of 5.9 percent. Overall, the rate of current illicit drug use among 14 year olds was 9.2 percent.
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Among youth 12 to 17 years of age, 10.9% had used an illicit drug within the 30 days prior to survey. Of this group, 7.7 percent had used marijuana, and 5.3 percent had used some illicit drug other than marijuana. Nearly 15% of youth in this age group report current cigarette smoking, compared to 40% of young adults aged 18-25 and 25% of adults 26 and older. More than 10 million youth under age 20, report current alcohol use, with 68% of these individuals reporting binge drinking. New Trends
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2012 for the course ECONOMICS 2301 taught by Professor Ginn during the Spring '11 term at Texas A&M.

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Drug Abuse - Drug Abuse Substance use has fluctuated...

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