Where to Find Nationwide Trends and Statistics
Major sources of data on the extent of drug use in the United States include the following:
Monitoring the Future (MTF)
The MTF study measures drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among adolescent students nationwide. Survey participants report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month. The annual survey is funded by NIDA and is conducted by the University of Michigan. Results from the survey are released late each fall. For the latest survey results, go to: Monitoring the Future.
Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG)
CEWG provides current descriptive and analytical information regarding the nature and patterns of drug abuse, emerging trends of drug use, characteristics of vulnerable populations, and the social and health consequences. CEWG is a NIDA-sponsored network of researchers from 20+ major U.S. metropolitan areas and selected foreign countries who meet semiannually to discuss the current epidemiology of drug abuse. Go to the Community Epidemiology Work Group pages.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) NSDUH (formerly called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse) is the primary source of information on the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use and abuse in the general U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population, ages 12 and older. Survey information can be found at: www.oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh.htm.
Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)
The DAWN report, also prepared by SAMHSA, provides information about the impact of drug use on hospital emergency departments in the United States. It reports the number of visits to the emergency department that were related directly to the use of an illegal drug or the nonmedical use of a legal drug. DAWN is not a measure of the prevalence of use but instead offers information complementary to the prevalence data found in the NSDUH (dawninfo.samhsa.gov).
Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)
The TEDS system includes records for approximately 1.5 million substance abuse treatment admissions annually. While TEDS does not represent all substance abuse treatment activities, it comprises a significant proportion of all admissions to substance abuse treatment programs and includes those admissions that rely on public funds. Data are reported by sex, age, and race/ethnicity for each of 15 substance abuse categories. TEDS is maintained by the Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA (wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/webt/information.htm).
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.