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2001 National Household  Survey on Drug Abuse

7. Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment

Since 2000, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) has included a series of questions to assess dependence on and abuse of substances, as well as questions asking whether respondents had received treatment for a problem related to substance abuse. The dependence and abuse questions are designed to measure dependence and abuse based on the criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994). The questions on dependence ask about health, emotional problems, attempts to cut down on use, tolerance, withdrawal, and other symptoms associated with substances used. The questions on abuse ask about problems at work, home, and school; problems with family or friends; physical danger; and trouble with the law due to substances used. Dependence reflects a more severe substance problem than abuse, and persons are classified with abuse of a particular substance only if they are not dependent on that substance. This chapter provides estimates of the prevalence and patterns of dependence and abuse on illicit drugs and alcohol in the Nation from the 2001 NHSDA. It also provides estimates of the prevalence and patterns of the receipt of treatment for problems related to substance use. A third section of this chapter discusses the need for and receipt of treatment specifically for problems associated with illicit drug use.

Because of changes in 2000 in the NHSDA questionnaire and the definitions employed for determining treatment need, the estimates presented in this chapter are not comparable with NHSDA estimates of dependence, abuse, treatment, or treatment need produced from the 1999 and earlier NHSDAs. However, because the questions and definitions employed for determining treatment need were the same in 2000 and 2001, the estimates in this chapter are comparable with estimates from the 2000 NHSDA. Trends in the estimates of dependence, abuse, treatment, and treatment need between 2000 and 2001 are discussed in this chapter.

 

7.1 Substance Dependence and Abuse

 

Age at First Use

 

 

Age

 

 

Gender

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

Education/Employment

 

Geographic Area

 

7.2 Treatment for a Substance Use Problem

Estimates described in this section refer to treatment received to reduce or stop drug or alcohol use, or for medical problems associated with the use of drugs or alcohol. This includes treatment received in the past year at any location, such as in a hospital, at a rehabilitation facility (outpatient or inpatient), mental health center, emergency room, private doctor's office, self-help group, or prison/jail. The definition of treatment in this section is different from the definition of treatment used in measuring the drug abuse treatment gap, which is described in Section 7.3 and excludes treatment at an emergency room, private doctor's office, self-help group, prison or jail, or at a hospital as an outpatient.

 

 

7.3 Needing and Receiving Treatment for an Illicit Drug Problem

This section addresses the need for and receipt of treatment for an illicit drug problem. It includes estimates of the drug abuse "treatment gap," which is defined as those persons who needed treatment for an illicit drug problem in the past year but did not receive treatment. An individual is defined as needing treatment if he or she is dependent on or has abused an illicit drug or received treatment for an illicit drug problem at a "specialty" substance abuse facility in the past 12 months. "Specialty" substance abuse facilities include drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities (inpatient or outpatient), hospitals (inpatient only), and mental health centers.

 

Age

 

Gender

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

Geographic Area

This page was last updated on June 16, 2008.