Adolescents Do What Every Day?
Have you ever wondered how many American teenagers use alcohol and illicit drugs on an average day?
A new report from SAMHSA, A Day in the Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts Update, presents information about teens’ use of cigarettes, alcohol, and illicit drugs “on an average day,” including their use of these substances for the first time.
SAMHSA first released a report of this nature in 2007 (see SAMHSA News online, November/December 2007). The 2010 report offers updated data as well as a new section that focuses on drug-related emergency department visits.*
The report reveals that on an average day in 2008, more than 1 million teens age 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, more than half a million drank alcohol, and approximately 563,000 used marijuana (see chart).
In addition, 7,540 adolescents drank alcohol for the first time, more than 3,800 smoked cigarettes for the first time, and
more than 4,300 used an illicit drug for the first time on an average day.
On an average day in 2008, there were 465 emergency department visits for adolescents age 12 to 17 that involved the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, or the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals.
Alcohol played a role in many of the visits—151 visits involved alcohol only and 54 involved alcohol taken with other drugs.
Marijuana was involved in 129 visits.
In addition, SAMHSA estimates that, on any given day in 2008, 63 emergency department visits took place for drug-related suicide attempts among adolescents.
The following numbers of teenagers under age 18 received substance abuse treatment on an average day in 2008: 76,484 were in outpatient treatment; 9,219 were clients in non-hospital residential treatment; and 762 received hospital inpatient treatment.
The report also provides data on the primary substances of abuse reported by teens in treatment and the major referral sources (e.g., criminal justice system, schools).
For more, download the full report.
* The data presented in this report are from four 2008 SAMHSA data sources: the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), and the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN).
Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies (April 29, 2010). Figure 2. Number of Adolescents Age 12 to 17 Who Used Cigarettes, Alcohol, or Illicit Drugs on an Average Day: 2008 NSDUH. The OAS Report: A Day in the Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts Update. Rockville, MD.