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Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol are major problems in the United States, particularly among the youth of this country. The 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which is an annual survey of the civilian population of non-institutionalized people in the United States aged 12 years and older, found that in 2003, an estimated 19.5 million Americans, 8.2 percent of the population aged 12 years or more, were currently using illicit drugs, i.e. they had used illicit drugs in the month prior to the survey (1). There were no changes in drug use since 2002. The rate of current marijuana use among youths aged 12 to 17 years was 7.9 percent, and there was a significant decline in lifetime marijuana use among youths, from 20.6 percent in 2002 to 19.6 percent in 2003. There were also decreases in the use of LSD (1.3 to 0.6 percent), Ecstasy (2.2 to 1.3 percent), and methamphetamine (0.9 to 0.7 percent). Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug.

An estimated 2.3 million people were current cocaine users, 604,000 of them using crack cocaine (1). One million people were hallucinogen users, and there were an estimated 119,000 current heroin users. Overall, there was a drop in the use of hallucinogens (from 4.7 million users down to 3.9 million users), LSD (from 1 million users down to 558,000 users), and Ecstacy (from 3.2 Million users to 2.1 million users) from 2002.

As far as alcohol is concerned, 119 million American aged 12 or older were current drinkers of alcohol in 2003 (50.1 percent of the population) (1). About 54 million participated in binge drinking at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey, and 16.1 million were heavy drinkers. Again, there was little change since 2002. The highest prevalence of binge and heavy drinking was among young adults aged between 18 and 25 years of age, with the peak for both measures falling at age 21. Heavy alcohol use was reported by 15.1 percent of those aged from 18 t...

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Drugs and Alcohol. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:32, July 01, 2022, from