August 20, 2019

Today SAMHSA released its latest findings from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The NSDUH is a comprehensive household survey of substance use, substance use disorders, mental health, and use of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Overall, the survey provides a window into the state of substance use and mental health issues in the US. Here are some of the key findings:

  • There was a significant decrease in prescription opioid misuse across all age groups
  • Heroin use declined overall from 2016-2018 and especially in ages 18-25
  • The total number of individuals with Opioid Use Disorder decreased from 2.1M in 2017 to 2.0M in 2018
  • Use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) increased
  • Past month substance use among pregnant women decreased compared to 2017. However, there was an overall increase over the past 3 years, particularly with use of marijuana
  • Marijuana use among young people increased year-over-year
  • Prevalence of marijuana use disorder in 18-25 year olds increased from 5.1% in 2015 to 5.9% in 2018
  • There was a significant increase in methamphetamine use among adults > 26 years old
  • Serious mental illness is rising among adolescents and adults

These findings underscore the continuing need to address the rising rates of marijuana and methamphetamine use in adults as well as declining mental health in adolescents. As we focus on securing and allocating desperately needed resources to treat substance use and mental health disorders, let us also continue working with renewed enthusiasm and energy toward our common goal of preventing substance abuse and the concomitant mental health issues.  Prevention works!

Read the full results from the 2018 NSDUH



Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2019). National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2018. Retrieved from