1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Preliminary Results

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In 1996, an estimated 10.1 million Americans were current (past month) marijuana or hashish users. This represents 4.7 percent of the population aged 12 and older.

Marijuana is by far the most prevalent drug used by illicit drug users since approximately three quarters (77 percent) of current illicit drug users were marijuana or hashish users in 1996. Because of this, trends and demographic differences are generally similar for any illicit use and marijuana/hashish use.

The rate of marijuana use among youths age 12-17 was 7.1 percent in 1996. While this is not significantly different than the rate in 1995 (8.2 percent), it indicates a possible shift in the trend. From 1992 to 1995, the rate of use among youth more than doubled. Similar trends are evident among both boys and girls, whites, blacks, and Hispanics, in all four geographic regions, and in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas (Figure 8).

Undisplayed Graphic

In 1996 there were an estimated 6.1 million frequent marijuana users, defined as use on at least 51 days during the past year. This represents a rate of 2.8 percent of the population age 12 and older, and was not significantly different from the estimate for 1995 (5.3 million users, 2.5 percent), but was significantly lower than in 1985, when there were an estimated 8.4 million frequent users (4.4 percent of the population).

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This page was last updated on February 05, 2009.