National Household Survey Finds Drug Use Remained Steady
According to preliminary estimates from the 1994 National Household Survey, the number of people reporting illegal drug use has remained unchanged since 1992. "Use" is defined as use at least one time in the past month (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, "Preliminary Estimates From the 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse," Advance Report Number 10, September 1995).
The report estimates that there were 12.2 million people who used illicit drugs in 1994 (11.7 million people reported use in 1993). Total past-month alcohol use by people ages 12 and older increased to 53 percent in 1994 from 48 percent in 1992, but heavy alcohol use has remained steady at about 5 percent since 1990. Youth alcohol use has stabilized between 16 and 18 percent. Tobacco use by those 18 years old and older continued to decline, dropping from 35 percent in 1979 to 27 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 1994.
Marijuana use by 12- to 17-year-olds almost doubled between 1992 and 1994, after experiencing a steady decline since 1979. Overall drug use by this group increased from 6.6 percent in 1993 to 9.5 percent in 1994, but is still much lower than the peak of 18.5 percent in 1979.
The National Household Survey is an annual representative survey of the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs and the education, employment, and health status of respondents. It has been conducted since 1971, and by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) since 1992. The 1994 survey sampled 22,181 people.
[To obtain a copy of this Advance Report, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 16C-06, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-443-7980, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Specify that you want to receive the report, "Preliminary Estimates from the 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse."]