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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
July/August 2009, Volume 17, Number 4 

State-by-State Report Shows Substantial Disparities

Data Show Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Challenges Affect All States

A new report from SAMHSA provides state-by-state analyses of substance abuse and mental illness patterns in 23 different “categories” or measures, including illicit drug use, binge drinking, alcohol and illicit drug dependence, tobacco use, serious psychological distress, and major depressive episodes.

Patterns reveal wide variations in the levels of illicit drug use and other problems found among the states.

“Every state faces its own unique pattern of public health problems, especially related to substance abuse and mental health issues,” said SAMHSA’s Acting Administrator Eric B. Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. “By highlighting the exact nature and scope of the problems in each state, we can help state public health authorities better determine the most effective ways of addressing them.”

Notable Findings Across the Nation

Enlarge image

Map of the United States - click to enlarge

See bullets below for highlights about Utah, Vermont, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

Disparities in illicit drug use and alcohol dependence are good examples of how different specific state data are. Comparing Iowa and Rhode Island, among those age 12 and older, Iowa had less than half the current illicit drug use rate of Rhode Island (5.2 percent vs. 12.5 percent). On the other hand, Iowa’s population age 12 and older had one of the Nation’s highest levels of people experiencing alcohol dependence or abuse in the past year (9.2 percent).

Notable Findings Across the Nation

  • Vermont had highest incidence rate of marijuana use among people age 12 and older (2.5 percent). Utah had the lowest (1.6) percent.
  • The District of Columbia had the highest rate of past-year cocaine use among those age 12 and older (5.1 percent). Mississippi had the lowest (1.6 percent).
  • Utah had the lowest rate of current underage drinking (17.3 percent). North Dakota had the highest (40 percent).
  • Tennessee had the highest rate of people age 18 and older experiencing a major depressive episode in the past year (9.8 percent). Hawaii had the lowest (5.0 percent).

The report is based on SAMHSA’s 2006 and 2007 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), using data drawn from interviews with 135,672 persons across the country.

The report also provides valuable data on the changes occurring within each of the states during the time since the last report (from the 2005 and 2006 NSDUH). For example, the report shows the rate of current tobacco use in Colorado rose from 26.5 percent to 29.8 percent during this period.

Download State Estimates of Substance Use From the 2006-2007 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Free print copies are available (limited quantity) from SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727). Ask for publication number SMA09-4362.




  Statistics on Substance Abuse,  
  Mental Health  
State by State Estimates

State by State Estimates

Every state faces a different set of challenges with substance abuse and mental health issues, including binge drinking and depression.

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) recently updated its data on discharges from treatment facilities.


  Treatment Updates  
TIP 50: Literature Review

TIP 50: Literature Review

Part 3 of TIP 50, Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment, is available.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Need, Barriers

Many people who need treatment for an alcohol problem are not seeking help. Why?

National Directory Updated and Available

National Directory Updated and Available

An updated guide to finding local substance abuse treatment programs is available.


  Real Warrior Campaign  
Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

The Real Warriors Campaign is fighting the stigma of asking for help.


  Prevention Update  
Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail sales of tobacco products to young people continue to drop.

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parents play an important role in preventing substance abuse.

Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

New funding, Web site redesign to improve navigation, and more.


  Grants  
Prevention Awards

Prevention Awards

To advance community-based prevention programs, $190 million to 25 grantees.

Calculating Program Allotments

A new guide provides information on procedures to calculate allocations for some key block and formula grants.

Drug Free Communities: Continuation Awards

More than 500 community coalitions nationwide recently received Drug Free Communities (DFC) continuation awards for their programs.


  Health Reform  
Nine Core Principles

Nine Core Principles

Ensuring current reform efforts include mental health and substance abuse issues.


  Mental Health  
Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Changes are coming to create “whole health,” person-centered care.


  Adolescents & Young Adults  
Need Treatment? Many Say No

Need Treatment? Many Say No

Nearly 7 million Americans age 18 to 25 were classified as needing treatment in the past year.


  Recovery Month  
Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Get up–to–the–minute updates on September's events.


  Also in this Issue  
Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Does dad's drinking affect his adolescent children?

Methadone Advisory

New information on the dangers of methadone in combination with other drugs.



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