25 The 2019 NSDUH questionnaire included separate sections for tranquilizer misuse and sedative misuse. Data from these sections were combined to produce aggregate estimates for the misuse of any tranquilizer or sedative. 21 These estimates were calculated from special analyses but are not included in the appendix tables or in the 2019 detailed https://ecosoberhouse.com/ tables. 7 Overall response rates are not calculated for adolescents or adults because the screening response rate is not specific to age groups. Since 2008, NSDUH respondents aged 18 or older have been asked if at any time during the past 12 months they had thought seriously about trying to kill themselves (serious thoughts of suicide).

  • Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the number of past year initiates of prescription tranquilizer misuse declined from 489,000 people in 2015 to 329,000 people in 2019 (2019 DT 7.43).
  • The body’s ability to break down alcohol is also decreased with aging, causing alcohol to remain in a person’s system longer.7 This leads to older people feeling increased central nervous system effects from lower amounts of alcohol.
  • This information helps guide suicide prevention programs and clinical intervention efforts.

Among people aged 12 or older in 2019, 1.8 percent (or 5.1 million people) misused hydrocodone products in the past year (Figure 22 and 2019 DT 1.98). Hydrocodone products were the most commonly misused subtype of prescription pain relievers in 2019, including Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Zohydro® ER, and generic hydrocodone. In addition, 1.2 percent (or 3.2 million people) misused oxycodone products in the past year, including OxyContin®, Percocet®, Percodan®, Roxicodone®, and generic oxycodone.

Statistics on Alcohol Use Among Older Adults

Unlike the previously discussed questions about treatment for depression, general questions for the receipt of treatment or counseling for mental health issues among adults did not ask about treatment for a particular mental disorder. Consequently, references in this section to treatment or counseling for any problem with emotions, nerves, or mental health are described broadly as “mental health services” or “mental health care.” Questions were added to the 2019 NSDUH interview to assess the receipt of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for problems with alcohol use or opioid misuse. NSDUH respondents aged 12 or older who reported receiving any treatment in the past year for problems related to their use of alcohol were asked to report whether a doctor or other health professional prescribed them medication in the past year to help reduce or stop their use of alcohol. Questions on MAT for opioid misuse were asked if respondents aged 12 or older reported ever using heroin or ever misusing prescription pain relievers and reported receiving any treatment in the past year for illicit drug use problems.

substance abuse statistics for older adults in the united states

Census Bureau regions, the prevalence of heroin, cocaine, illicit fentanyl, and prescription sedative use was highest at Northeast treatment sites, whereas the prevalence of illicit stimulant use was highest at Midwest treatment sites. Among all adults assessed, 32.6% reported use of two or more substances during the past 30 days; the most common polysubstance combinations were alcohol and cannabis (17.2%), followed by cannabis and illicit stimulants (3.7%), and alcohol and prescription opioids (3.4%) (Figure). 33 To measure initiation for most substances, NSDUH respondents who reported they ever used a particular substance were asked to report their age when they first used it. To measure initiation of prescription drug misuse (i.e., misuse of pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives), NSDUH respondents who reported they misused a particular prescription drug in the past 12 months were asked to report their age when they first misused it. Respondents who reported first use (or misuse in the case of prescription drugs) of a substance within a year of their current age also were asked to report the year and month when they first used (or misused) it.

Any Mental Illness among Adults in the Past Year

Among people aged 12 or older, the number of past year initiates of prescription tranquilizer misuse declined from 1.4 million people in 2015 to 949,000 people in 2019 (Figure 26 and 2019 DT 7.40). The number of people aged 12 or older in 2019 who initiated prescription tranquilizer misuse in the past year averaged to about 2,600 people each day (Table A.3A). Among people aged 12 or older, the number of past year initiates of prescription stimulant misuse declined from 1.3 million people in 2015 to 901,000 people in 2019 (Figure 26 and 2019 DT 7.40). The number of people aged 12 or older in 2019 who initiated prescription stimulant misuse in the past year averaged to about 2,500 people each day (Table A.3A). Among young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2019, 476,000 people initiated cocaine use in the past year.

Adults aged 25–34 years reported more severe problems with drugs (49.9%) and those aged 55–64 years reported more severe problems with alcohol (41.1%). Approximately two thirds (67.4%) of unemployed adults assessed experienced more severe drug problems, and retired or disabled adults experienced more severe psychiatric (53.3%) and medical (59.6%) problems. Among adolescents aged 12 to 17 with a past year MDE, receipt of treatment for depression in the past year increased from 37.8 percent (or 822,000 people) in 2005 to 43.3 percent (or 1.6 million people) in 2019 (Figure 71 and 2019 DT 11.4). This percentage in 2019 was higher than the percentages in most years from 2005 to 2015 but was similar to the percentages from 2016 to 2018. Among the 2.5 million people aged 12 or older in 2019 who received alcohol use treatment at any location in the past year (regardless of whether they had a past year alcohol use disorder) (2019 DT 7.51), 11.3 percent (or 286,000 people) received MAT in the past year for alcohol use. In contrast, among the 1.1 million people aged 12 or older in 2019 who had a past year alcohol use disorder and received alcohol use treatment at any location in the past year, 20.7 percent (or 228,000 people) received MAT in the past year for alcohol use.

Initiation of Cigarette Smoking

Beginning in 2015, therefore, NSDUH questionnaires have included separate sections for methamphetamine use and the use and misuse of prescription stimulants. Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, the percentage who were past year cocaine users decreased from 2.1 percent (or 508,000 substance abuse in older adults people) in 2002 to 0.4 percent (or 97,000 people) in 2019 (Figure 13 and 2019 DT 7.5). The percentage of adolescents in 2019 who used cocaine in the past year was lower than the percentages in most years from 2002 to 2014, but it was similar to the percentages in 2015 to 2018.

These estimates of past year methamphetamine use in 2019 were higher than those in 2016 and 2017, but they were similar to those in 2015 and 2018. Percentages for past year crack use among adolescents decreased from 0.4 percent (or 100,000 people) in 2002 to less than 0.1 percent (or 11,000 people) in 2019 (2019 DT 7.5). The percentage of adolescents in 2019 who were past year crack users was lower than the percentages in 2002 to 2008, but it was similar to the percentages in 2009 to 2018. Percentages for past year crack use among people aged 12 or older decreased from 0.7 percent (or 1.6 million people) in 2002 to 0.3 percent (or 778,000 people) in 2019 (2019 DT 7.2). The percentage of people in 2019 who used crack in the past year was lower than the percentages in 2002 to 2009, but it was similar to the percentages in 2010 to 2018. Analyses of trends in this report focus on long-term trends in substance use and mental health issues.

In 2019, 185,000 adolescents initiated prescription tranquilizer misuse in the past year, or an average of about 510 new prescription tranquilizer misusers aged 12 to 17 each day (Table A.3A). Among adults aged 26 or older, the number of past year initiates of inhalant use remained stable between 2015 and 2019 (2019 DT 7.44). Among this population in 2019, 99,000 people initiated inhalant use in the past year, or an average of about 270 new inhalant users aged 26 or older each day (Table A.3A). An estimated 0.1 percent (or 269,000 people) of people aged 12 or older misused prescription fentanyl products (Figure 22 and 2019 DT 1.98). Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the percentage who misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in the past year declined from 5.7 percent (or 2.0 million people) in 2015 to 4.2 percent (or 1.4 million people) in 2019 (Figure 19 and 2019 DT 7.11).