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Issue 37 2006

State Estimates of Past Year Methamphetamine Use

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In Brief
  • Rates of past year methamphetamine use among persons aged 12 or older were among the highest in Nevada (2.0 percent), Montana (1.5 percent), and Wyoming (1.5 percent), and among the lowest in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York (approximately 0.1 percent)

  • Young adults aged 18 to 25 were more likely to use methamphetamine in the past year (1.6 percent) than youths aged 12 to 17 (0.7 percent) and adults aged 26 or older (0.4 percent)

  • Rates of past year methamphetamine use among young adults aged 18 to 25 were among the highest in Wyoming (4.6 percent), Arkansas (4.4 percent), Minnesota (3.8 percent), and Nevada (3.8 percent), and among the lowest in New York (0.3 percent), Connecticut (0.4 percent), and Vermont (0.4 percent)

In the United States, methamphetamine abuse and trafficking have been spreading eastward over the past decade, and the number of methamphetamine laboratories seized by U.S. law enforcement agencies increased 25 percent between 2001 and 2004.1 The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) asks respondents aged 12 or older to report on their past year use of methamphetamine. This report presents estimates of past year methamphetamine use among persons aged 12 or older in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia.2 All findings presented in this report are annual averages based on combined 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 NSDUH data.3 State estimates were rank ordered from highest to lowest and divided into quintiles (fifths). States with the highest estimates were assigned to the top quintile, and States with the lowest estimates were assigned to the bottom quintile.4


State Estimates of Past Year Methamphetamine Use

In 2002-2005, an estimated 1.4 million persons (0.6 percent of the total population) aged 12 or older used methamphetamine in the past year. Rates of past year methamphetamine use were among the highest in Nevada (2.0 percent), Montana (1.5 percent), and Wyoming (1.5 percent), and among the lowest in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York (approximately 0.1 percent).

Figure 1 shows State differences in the rate of past year methamphetamine use among persons aged 12 or older. States in the top quintile (i.e., those with the highest estimates) are shown in red, and those in the bottom quintile (i.e., those with the lowest estimates) are shown in dark blue. Of the nine States falling into the top quintile, seven were in the West (Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wyoming).5 Of the nine States falling into the bottom quintile, seven were in the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont).

Figure 1. Percentages of Persons Aged 12 or Older Reporting Past Year Methamphetamine Use, by State: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005
This figure is a U.S. map showing percentages of persons aged 12 or older reporting past year methamphetamine use, by state: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.  Accessible table located below this figure.

Figure 1 Table. Percentages of Persons Aged 12 or Older Reporting Past Year Methamphetamine Use, by State: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005
State Percentage
Nevada 2.02
Montana 1.47
Wyoming 1.47
Idaho 1.24
Nebraska 1.24
Oregon 1.24
Arkansas 1.23
Arizona 1.22
New Mexico 1.16
California 1.13
North Dakota 1.13
South Dakota 1.12
Hawaii 1.09
Colorado 1.07
Iowa 1.07
Washington 1.03
Utah 0.94
Kansas 0.92
Kentucky 0.91
Missouri 0.91
Oklahoma 0.89
Minnesota 0.88
Alabama 0.84
Mississippi 0.83
Indiana 0.68
Alaska 0.64
Texas 0.62
South Carolina 0.55
West Virginia 0.52
Georgia 0.48
Louisiana 0.48
Florida 0.39
Michigan 0.36
District of Columbia 0.34
Wisconsin 0.32
Delaware 0.27
Ohio 0.25
Tennessee 0.25
Virginia 0.21
North Carolina 0.20
Pennsylvania 0.20
Rhode Island 0.20
Illinois 0.19
Maine 0.18
Vermont 0.17
New Hampshire 0.15
Maryland 0.14
Massachusetts 0.14
New Jersey 0.11
New York 0.10
Connecticut 0.06
Source: SAMHSA, 2002-2005 NSDUHs.

State Estimates of Methamphetamine Use, by Age

In 2002-2005, young adults aged 18 to 25 were more likely to use methamphetamine in the past year (1.6 percent) than youths aged 12 to 17 (0.7 percent) and adults aged 26 or older (0.4 percent). Rates of past year methamphetamine use among young adults aged 18 to 25 were among the highest in Wyoming (4.6 percent), Arkansas (4.4 percent), Minnesota (3.8 percent), and Nevada (3.8 percent), and among the lowest in New York (0.3 percent), Connecticut (0.4 percent), and Vermont (0.4 percent). Figure 2 shows State differences in the rate of past year methamphetamine use among persons aged 18 to 25. Of the 10 States falling into the top quintile for young adults aged 18 to 25, seven were in the West, two were in the South, and one was in the Midwest. The 11 States falling in the bottom quintile among young adults aged 18 to 25 included seven states in the Northeast and three in the South.

Figure 2. Percentages of Young Adults Aged 18 to 25 Reporting Past Year Methamphetamine Use, by State: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005
This figure is a U.S. map showing percentages of young adults aged 18 to 25 reporting past year methamphetamine use, by state: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.  Accessible table located below this figure.

Figure 2 Table. Percentages of Young Adults Aged 18 to 25 Reporting Past Year Methamphetamine Use, by State: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005
State Percentage
Wyoming 4.58
Arkansas 4.41
Minnesota 3.84
Nevada 3.81
Oklahoma 3.68
Oregon 3.62
Idaho 3.24
Montana 3.08
Washington 3.00
New Mexico 2.96
South Dakota 2.91
Alabama 2.82
Missouri 2.81
Nebraska 2.80
Colorado 2.70
North Dakota 2.54
California 2.48
Alaska 2.29
Arizona 2.26
Iowa 2.14
Hawaii 2.13
West Virginia 2.09
Mississippi 1.93
Louisiana 1.93
Indiana 1.90
South Carolina 1.89
Texas 1.78
Utah 1.77
Kansas 1.75
Kentucky 1.36
Maine 1.02
Michigan 1.01
Delaware 0.98
Ohio 0.92
Georgia 0.92
Tennessee 0.91
Florida 0.88
District of Columbia 0.85
Wisconsin 0.78
Massachusetts 0.75
Virginia 0.71
New Jersey 0.71
Maryland 0.70
Rhode Island 0.62
North Carolina 0.58
Pennsylvania 0.52
Illinois 0.52
New Hampshire 0.50
Vermont 0.38
Connecticut 0.36
New York 0.29
Source: SAMHSA, 2002-2005 NSDUHs.

For youths aged 12 to 17, rates of past year methamphetamine use were among the highest in South Dakota (2.3 percent), Montana (2.2 percent), North Dakota (1.6 percent), and Wyoming (1.6 percent), and among the lowest in the District of Columbia (0.1 percent), Connecticut (0.2 percent), New York (0.2 percent), and Maryland (0.2 percent). Among persons aged 26 or older, estimates of past year methamphetamine use were among the highest in Nevada (1.8 percent), Montana (1.1 percent), and Arizona (1.0 percent), and among the lowest in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont (approximately 0.1 percent or lower).6


End Notes
1 Strom, K. J., Wong, L., Weimer, B., & Rachal, V. (2005, September). NFLIS Special Report: Synthetic drugs, 2001-2004. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control. [Available as a PDF at the National Forensic Laboratory Information System’s website: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/nflis/]
2 In this report, methamphetamine use refers to the nonmedical use of methamphetamine. The NSDUH asks respondents to report use of methamphetamine “that was not prescribed for you or that you took only for the feeling or experience it caused.”
3 This report does not utilize small area estimation (SAE) methodology in calculating estimates by State. State estimates for this report are based solely on the weighted sample for each State.
4 Estimates were divided into quintiles for ease of presentation and discussion, but differences between States and quintiles were not tested for statistical significance. In some instances, more than 10 or fewer than 10 States were assigned to each quintile because of ties in estimated prevalence rates.
5 Findings are discussed for four U.S. geographic regions. These regions, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, consist of the following groups of States: West Region - AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, and WY; South Region - AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, and the District of Columbia; Northeast Region -CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, and VT; Midwest Region - IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, and WI.
6 The estimated rates of past year methamphetamine misuse in the adult population aged 26 or older for CT, MA, MN, NJ, and VA did not meet precision criteria for publication.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Prior to 2002, this survey was called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). The combined 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 data are based on information obtained from 271,978 persons aged 12 or older. The survey collects data by administering questionnaires to a representative sample of the population through face-to-face interviews at their place of residence.

The NSDUH Report is prepared by the Office of Applied Studies (OAS), SAMHSA, and by RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. (RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute.)

Information on NSDUH used in compiling data for this issue is available in the following publications:

Office of Applied Studies. (in press). Results from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 06-4194, NSDUH Series H-30). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Office of Applied Studies. (2005). Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 05-4062, NSDUH Series H-28). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Office of Applied Studies. (2004). Results from the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 04-3964, NSDUH Series H-25). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Office of Applied Studies. (2003). Results from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 03-3836, NSDUH Series H-22). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Also available online: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov.

Because of improvements and modifications to the 2002 NSDUH, estimates from the 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 surveys should not be compared with estimates from the 2001 or earlier versions of the survey to examine changes over time.

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 report or other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are available online: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov. Citation of the source is appreciated. For questions about this report, please e-mail: shortreports@samhsa.hhs.gov.

This page was last updated on December 30, 2008.