Formerly called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) Report
|February 7, 2003|
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The survey has been conducted since 1971 and serves as the primary source of information on the prevalence and incidence of illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use in the civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 12 or older in the United States. Information about substance abuse and dependence, mental health problems, and receipt of substance abuse and mental health treatment also is included. Since 1999, about 70,000 interviews are conducted each year using a computerassisted interviewing (CAI) methodology. Before 2002, the name of the survey was the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA).
The design also oversamples youths and young adults, so that each State's sample is distributed equally among three age groups (12 to 17 years, 18 to 25 years, and 26 years or older).
Information is collected continuously from January 1 through December 31. A total of 157,471 addresses were screened for the 2001 survey, and 68,929 persons were interviewed. In 2001, the weighted response rate for screening was 92 percent, and the weighted response rate for interviewing was 73 percent.
Measures for nine specific classes of drugs are presented in analyses. These include the use of marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, and prescriptiontype drugs used nonmedically (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives). Nonprescription medications and legitimate uses under a doctor's supervision are not included in the survey. Summary measures such as "any illicit drug use" and "any illicit drug use other than marijuana" are produced.
In addition to a measure of any alcohol use, measures of "binge" alcohol use and heavy use in the past 30 days have been developed. "Binge" alcohol use is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey, and "heavy" use is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 5 different days in the past 30 days.
The measure of tobacco use includes use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, cigars, and pipe tobacco.
Measures of the perceived risk of harm from use of a number of illicit drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes at varying levels of use also are included. Measures of substance abuse and dependence and serious mental illness are based on criteria described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSMIV).1
In addition to these key substantive terms, a number of demographic and geographic characteristics are used in many analyses of the NSDUH data (Table 2).
Table 1. Key Measures of Substance Use and Mental Health
Table 2. Demographic and Geographic Characteristics
Survey estimates considered to be unreliable due to unacceptably large sampling errors are omitted from publications and denoted by an asterisk (*).
The statistical significance of observed differences in the NSDUH is generally reported at the 0.05 and 0.01 levels. In reports on NSDUH data, differences between groups or years of the survey are generally noted only if they are statistically significant.
Recent analytic monographs published by SAMHSA using NSDUH data include: Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment; Initiation of Marijuana Use: Trends, Patterns, and Implications; and State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2000 NHSDA.
Several reports on methodological issues are also available. The Methodological Resource Book (MRB) is produced annually. It includes the questionnaire and information on data collection and data analysis procedures and is available on the SAMHSA website. Development of ComputerAssisted Interviewing Procedures for the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse3 documents field testing and pretesting of the CAI instrument, and Redesigning an Ongoing National Household Survey: Methodological Issues4 discusses statistical and methodological issues concerning the 1999 redesign of the NSDUH.
A complete listing of previously published NSDUH reports is available from SAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies. Many of these reports are available on the SAMHSA website.
The NSDUH Report, published approximately twice a month, presents key findings from the NSDUH. These reports are available by mail and are posted on the SAMHSA website.
Associated with the release of the annual survey findings are detailed tables presenting analyses of substance use and other measures by demographic and geographic characteristics. These are also posted on the SAMHSA website.
Public use data files for 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988, and annually from 1990 to 2001 are currently available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) and the archive's online data analysis system (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/SAMHDA).
|The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The NSDUH Report is prepared by the Office of Applied Studies (OAS), SAMHSA, and by RTI in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2000). Summary of findings from the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (DHHS Publication No. SMA 003466, NHSDA Series: H12). Rockville, MD: Author.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2001). Summary of findings from the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (DHHS Publication No. SMA 013549, NHSDA Series: H13). Rockville, MD: Author.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2002). Results from the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Volume I. Summary of national findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 023758, NHSDA Series: H17). Rockville, MD: Author.
Also available online:
Additional tables available on request.
|The NSDUH Report (formerly The NHSDA Report) is published periodically by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from SAMHSA. Additional copies of this fact sheet may be downloaded from Other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are also available on-line on the OAS home page: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov|
This page was last updated on December 31, 2008.