home
RSS
Study: 22 million Americans use illegal drugs
Marijuana is the most common drug for first-time users, according to the study.
September 8th, 2011
06:10 PM ET

Study: 22 million Americans use illegal drugs

More than 22 million Americans age 12 and older - nearly 9% of the U.S. population - use illegal drugs, according to the government’s 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The overall rate of drug use is only slightly higher than the 2009 study but nearly a percentage point above the 2008 survey.

“I am encouraged there were no significant increases in drug use over the past year,” Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. director of national drug control policy, said in a statement. “However, today’s survey also shows that drug use in America remains at unacceptable levels.”

Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants and some prescription drugs used for non-medical purposes were counted in the survey. Marijuana was the most commonly used drug, with more than 17 million users in 2010, 3 million more than in the 2007 survey.

In 2010, 7 million people used psychotherapeutic drugs (including stimulants, tranquilizers, painkillers and sedatives) for non-medical purposes, and 1.2 million people used hallucinogens, according to the study.  The numbers are similar to the past few years.

One and a half million people used cocaine, similar to recent years' study results but a drop of nearly 1 million from 2006.  Methamphetamine use dropped by more than half between 2006 and 2010, to only a 10th of 1% of the population, according to the survey.

The number of young people using drugs has continued to increase. In 2008, 19.6% of 18- to 25-year-olds used drugs, but in 2010’s survey, that number had climbed to 21.5%. The increase is largely due to marijuana use, according to the study.

Drug use among 12- to 17-year-olds stayed steady in the survey, at about 10%.

States allowing medical marijuana could be fueling the increases in drug use, Kerlikowske said.

“Emerging research reveals potential links between state laws permitting access to smoked medical marijuana and higher rates of marijuana use,” his statement said. “I urge every family - but particularly those in states targeted by pro-drug political campaigns - to redouble their efforts to shield young people from serious harm by educating them about the real health and safety consequences caused by illegal drug use.”

Marijuana is the most common drug for first-time users, according to the study. Among people who started using drugs in the year before the survey, 62% said they first used marijuana, 26% first used prescription drugs like tranquilizers and stimulants, and 9% first used inhalants.

The age when people start using marijuana is going up.  The study found that in 2010, the average age of a first-time marijuana user was 18.4 years. In the 2002 study, it was 17 years old.

Nearly half of youths between 12 and 17 years old said it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get marijuana, one in five said it would be easy to get cocaine, and one in 10 said it would be easy to get heroin, according to the study.

Alcohol use

About 131 million people 12 and older in the United States drink alcohol, according to the 2010 survey.  That’s roughly half the population and similar to the year prior.  Nearly a quarter of the population age 12 and older participated in what the study calls binge drinking, or having five or more drinks in the same occasion, at least once in the past month. Nearly 7% of the population reported binge drinking on five days in the month before the survey.

Ten million 12- to 20-year-olds drink, according to the survey, and 65% of those binge drink. These numbers represent a drop of about 2 percentage points each from the 2002 survey.

More than 11% of the population drove under the influence of alcohol in the year before the study. The number is a drop of about 3 percentage points from the 2002 study.

The most likely age group to drive after drinking was 21- to 25-year-olds, according to the study.

Tobacco use

Nearly 70 million Americans age 12 and over use tobacco, according to the study, more than a quarter of the population in that age group. The numbers represent a drop of about 3 percentage points from the 2002 survey.  In both studies, cigarette smoking made up the majority of the tobacco use, followed by cigars and smokeless tobacco. However, only cigarette use significantly declined during those years.

The use of tobacco by younger people has declined.  The 2002 study showed that about 15% of people age 12 to 17 used tobacco, while the 2010 numbers were closer to 11%.

Nearly 59% of new smokers in the 2010 survey were under 18 when they first started smoking.

Treatment

More than 23 million Americans age 12 and older needed some sort of treatment for drug or alcohol use problems, according to the 2010 study. But only 2.6 million people got that treatment.  Of the people who didn’t get treatment, most indicated in the survey that they did not feel they need it.

Post by:
Filed under: Addiction • Alcohol • Marijuana

soundoff (1,546 Responses)
  1. Sprinter Armrest Repair

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own blog now 😉

    http://buddhiyoga.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetservicesorangecounty.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sprinter Repair Codes

    https://analytics.tradedoubler.com/r.php?u=https://fleetservicerepairshop.com/cities/austin/

    June 22, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Rv Windshield Replacement Shop

    I blog frequently and I genuinely thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    https://edesk.jp/atp/Redirect.do?url=http://fleetservicerepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Diesel Sprinter Repair Service

    Great blog you have got here.. Itís hard to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://ww41.worldhistory.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetvehiclerepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Near Me

    Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

    http://alexvoss.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 22, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Digital Marketing Firm

    Excellent blog you've got here.. Itís hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://flyparamania.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 22, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 538 podcast

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It's the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!

    http://potati.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 22, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Social Media Marketing Market

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

    https://www.transferdirect.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 22, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Chassis Repair Near Me

    http://optimizedlevodopa.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 22, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair Near Here

    I like it when individuals get together and share opinions. Great site, stick with it!

    http://akamonsitefl.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 22, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. podcast logo

    http://mbpinc.ca/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. astrology podcast

    https://www.worldcruising.com/extern.aspx?ctype=1&adid=89&pagid=0&src=https://backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. bbc global news podcast

    http://artadvisors.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 04:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. podcast names

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share views. Great blog, keep it up!

    http://youthimpressions.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Content Marketing Service

    http://www.caribbean-on-line.com/cgi-bin/bannertrak.cgi?d=https://consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Boris Gustin

    How do I put up my Blogspot blog on Google Search?

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmkowalsky/

    June 23, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. npr news podcast

    http://fssurv.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Content Marketing Firm

    Your style is unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

    http://www.kreepost.com/go/?consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. every little thing podcast

    http://mh5.cyberlinkenews.com/a/click.asp?url=https://backbonehunters.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Social Media Marketing Service

    Excellent post. I am going through many of these issues as well..

    http://doctordavestoker.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=internetmarketingidaho.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV And Truck Repair Near Me

    http://bridge2china.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.us

    June 23, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Body Repair Near Me

    http://ochsner-hmo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.vip

    June 23, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Social Media Marketing Companies Near Me

    I really like reading through an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

    http://www.firstchoicemessenger.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ppcpostfalls.com

    June 23, 2021 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. mexican food near me

    I must thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own blog now 😉

    http://www.lifestream.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Electrical Repair Near Me

    http://jeanmurrelladams.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.life

    June 23, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. dry ice near me

    http://charlemagne.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestshopnearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RS Mega Vape

    Has anyone ever shopped at JP's Vapor Shop? 😉

    http://kitap-palatasy.kz/user/hempstoreau69/

    June 23, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Air Conditioner Repair Near Me

    I seriously love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my own website and would love to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thanks!

    https://www.fugleognatur.dk/links/klik.asp?id_link=416&url=https://ocrvmotorsports.info/

    June 23, 2021 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    http://www2.golflink.com.au/out.aspx?frm=gglcmicrosite&target=https://oc-rv.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Local Marketing Firms

    http://milenthal.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=getmoneysocial.com

    June 24, 2021 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. landfill near me

    http://www.drachenzaehmenleichtgemacht.at/notice.php?url=https://bulknearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. fedex drop off near me

    After looking at a handful of the blog articles on your web page, I seriously like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know how you feel.

    http://www.pegasus7.net/navi008/navi.cgi?jump=27936&url=https://bjsnearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 00:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Brake Repair Near Me

    http://yellowpages.13abc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.info

    June 24, 2021 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Generator Repair Near Me

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.

    http://amwriter.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.info

    June 24, 2021 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Brake Repair Near Me

    I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    http://clevideoondemand.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvexperts.com

    June 24, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Social Media Marketing Near Me

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve visited this site before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly happy I found it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

    http://incrediblebaby.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=postfallsvideographer.com

    June 24, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Store Near Me

    http://delmarart.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Content Marketing Agencies

    I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    http://cms.nam.org.uk/Aggregator.ashx?url=https://lifeboosterpack.com

    June 24, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Furnace Repair Near Me

    http://www.dapperdarlings.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.info

    June 24, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    http://www.academyartuniversitystudent.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.online

    June 24, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Social Media Marketing Experts

    http://davidlidsky.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=local-business-video-marketing.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Social Media Marketing Specialist Near Me

    After looking over a number of the articles on your site, I seriously like your technique of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website too and let me know your opinion.

    http://monhyip.net/redirect?url=http://internetmarketingwashington.com

    June 24, 2021 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. unemployment office near me

    Can I just say what a relief to uncover somebody that actually knows what they're discussing over the internet. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people must check this out and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you are not more popular because you certainly possess the gift.

    http://wegotthegoods.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 24, 2021 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. aldi near me

    http://www.dairylandgreyhoundpark.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=quotenearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Chassis Repair Near Me

    http://mgrmtech.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.tv

    June 24, 2021 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. credit union near me

    Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!

    http://rah-rahribbons.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 24, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    https://www.icr.ro/engine/track.php?nlid=368&email=altmarius1@gmail.com&url=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Service Repair Near Me

    Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!

    http://elexpres.com/php_includes/universal/clicks.php?url=www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Sales And Repair Near Me

    https://atlanticleague.com/tracker/index.html?t=ad&pool_id=11&ad_id=5&url=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    After looking over a number of the blog posts on your website, I truly like your technique of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

    https://payrollservers.us/sc/cookie.asp?sitealias=25925711&redirect=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.