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Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs Drops in Young Adults

SAMHSA issues its annual report on substance use in the United States

Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs Drops in Young Adults

MONDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In its latest report, 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the teen and adult civilian population of the United States.

Jonaki Bose, from SAMHSA in Rockville, Md., and colleagues performed a survey of about 70,000 individuals, aged 12 years and older, to examine the scope and nature of substance abuse and mental health issues in the United States.

The researchers found that marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug (7.3 percent). The rate of past-month non-medical use of prescription drugs in adults aged 18 to 25 years (5.3 percent) was significantly lower compared with 2009 (6.4 percent). Among those aged 12 years or older, the overall rate for use of illicit drugs in the past month was 9.2 percent, similar to the rate reported in 2011. Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, the rates for underage drinking were lower in 2012 than in 2009 and 2002. Only 8.6 percent of those aged 12 to 17 years reported past-month tobacco use in 2012, compared with 15.2 percent in 2002.

"These findings show that while we have made progress in preventing some aspects of substance abuse we must redouble our efforts to reduce and eliminate all forms of it throughout our nation," Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., a SAMHSA administrator, said in a statement.

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