Illicit drug use among people age 12 to 17 is down 24% since 2002, according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), released Tuesday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). About 8.8 % of young people surveyed were current illicit drug users, down 13% from 2009. Fewer adolescents also reported consuming alcohol, with 11.6% reporting doing so in 2013 compared to 12.9% in 2012.
The NSDUH also found between 2002 and 2013, the level of teens with substance dependence or abuse problems decreased from 8.9 percent to 5.2 percent. Between 2002 and 2013, teens’ rate of regular alcohol use declined from 17.6 percent to 11.6 percent. During that period, marijuana use among teens ages 12 to 17 also declined. Teens’ recreational use of prescription painkillers decreased as well.
Many Americans who need treatment for a substance use disorder are not receiving specialty treatment, the report indicates. While 22.7 million Americans 12 and older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem last year, only 2.5 million received it in a facility designed to treat substance use disorders
“This report shows that we have made important progress in some key areas, but that we need to rejuvenate our efforts to promote prevention, treatment and recovery, to reach all aspects of our community,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release.
The NSDUH is an annual survey of a nationally representative sample of about 70,000 Americans ages 12 and older. SAMHSA released the report as part of its 25th annual observance of National Recovery Month.