Illicit Drug Use by Americans Increased in 2001, Federal Survey Finds
Almost two million more Americans used illicit drugs in 2001 than in 2000, according to a new study released yesterday by HHS, USA Today reports. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, the largest study of drug use in the country, questioned 70,000 people over the age of 12, (Kolchik, USA Today, 9/6). The following are results from the survey:
- Overall, 7.1% of the nation's population, or 15.9 million people over the age of 12, used an illicit drug in the month prior to the survey, compared to 6.3% of the population in 2000.
- Among youths ages 12 to 17, 10.8% reported using an illicit drug in the month before the survey, up from 9.7% in 2000. Among young adults age 18 to 25, use of illicit drugs increased from 15.9% in 2000 to 18.8% in 2001 (HHS release, 9/5).
- The percentage of people who reported using marijuana increased from 4.8% in 2000 to 5.4% in 2001 (Chatterjee, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/6).
- The number of people who have ever used Ecstasy reached 8.1 million in 2001, up from 6.5 million in 2000. In 2000, an estimated 1.9 million people used Ecstasy for the first time, up from just 700,000 in 1998. About 786,000 people were listed as current users in 2001.
- The number of people that used the prescription painkiller OxyContin for illicit purposes at least once increased from 399,000 in 2000 to 957,000 in 2001 (HHS release, 9/5).