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Results From the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2013
178 pages

This report presents findings from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


This survey is the primary source of information on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States for individuals ages 12 or older. In 2012, 23.9 million Americans 12 years old or older were current (past-month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This is 9.2 percent of the population of those ages 12 and older. The illicit drugs consumed included marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) used non-medically. The current illicit drug use among the population surveyed increased from 8.1 percent in 2008 to 9.2 percent in 2012. The rate in 2012 was similar to the rates in 2009 to 2011, but it was higher than the rates in the years 2002 to 2008. Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug. In 2012, there were 18.9 million past-month users. There were 1.6 million current cocaine users (0.6 percent of the population). These estimates were similar to the number and rate in 2011, but they were lower than in 2003 to 2007. The number of past-year heroin users increased between 2007(373,000) and 2012 (669,000). An estimated 1.1 million persons surveyed (0.4 percent) used hallucinogens in the past month, similar to estimates in 2002 to 2011. The percentage that used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically in 2012 (2.6 percent) was similar to the percentage in 2011. The number of past-month methamphetamine users decreased between 2006 and 2012 (0.3 percent to 0.2 percent). 66 figures, 16 tables, 64 references, and appended description of the survey