In 1995, an estimated 12.8 million Americans were current illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug in the month prior to interview. This represents no change from 1994 when the estimate was 12.6 million. The number of illicit drug users was at its highest level in 1979 when there were 25 million.
Between 1994 and 1995, there was a continuing increase in the rate of past month illicit drug use among youths, from 8.2 percent to 10.9 percent. The rate has doubled since 1992.
Significant increases in past month marijuana use (from 6.0 percent to 8.2 percent), cocaine use (from 0.3 percent to 0.8 percent), and hallucinogen use (from 1.1 percent to 1.7 percent) occurred among youth between 1994 and 1995.
The overall number of current cocaine users did not change significantly between 1994 and 1995 (1.38 million in 1994 and 1.45 million in 1995). This is down from a peak of 5.7 million in 1985.
There were an estimated 582,000 (0.3 percent of the population) frequent cocaine users in 1995. Frequent use, defined as use on 51 or more days during the past year, was not significantly different than in 1994 (734,000) or 1985 (781,000). However, the estimated number of occasional cocaine users (people who used in the past year but on fewer than 12 days) has sharply declined from 7.1 million in 1985 to 2.5 million in 1995.
There were an estimated 2.3 million people who started using marijuana in 1994. The annual number of marijuana initiates has risen since 1991.
Despite the substantial reduction in cocaine use since 1985, there were still an estimated 530,000 Americans who used cocaine for the first time in 1994.