What's New - September 1, 1998
1997 National Household Survey
On August 21, 1998, HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala released findings of the 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The results are available on the web.
An estimated 13.9 million Americans (6.4 percent of the U.S. population age 12 and older) were "current users" of illicit
drugs last year, meaning they had used an illicit drug in the month prior to the survey interview. That is not a statistically
significant change from 1996 when the estimate was 13 million.
Marijuana continues to be the most frequently used illicit drug; about 60 percent of all illicit drug users reported using
marijuana only, and another 20 percent reported marijuana use and some other illicit drug. The number of current illicit drug
users is about half its peak in 1979, when there were 25 million current users.
For young people age 12-17, the survey found an increase in current use of drugs, primarily in marijuana use, which
increased from 7.1 percent in 1996 to 9.4 percent in 1997. However, the rate of past month marijuana use among youth
remains significantly lower than its peak of 14.2 percent in 1979. Importantly, there were no statistically significant increases
among youth for past month use of inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine or heroin between 1996 and 1997.
Illicit Drug Use
- In 1997, 11.4 percent of youth age 12 - 17 reported using illicit drugs in the past month, an increase from 9.0 percent in 1996.
- Except for 1996, there has been a steady increase in illicit drug use among youth since 1992.
- In 1997, an estimated 11.1 million Americans were current (past month) marijuana/hashish users. This represents 5.1percent of the population age 12 and older.
- An estimated 2.5 million people started using marijuana in 1996. The rising incidence during the 1990's seems to have been fueled primarily by the increasing rate of new use among youth age 12-17, from 37 per 1,000 potential new
users in 1991 to about 83 per 1,000 potential new users in 1996.
- In 1997, an estimated 1.5 million Americans (0.7 percent of the population age 12 and older) were current cocaine users.
- The number of users has not changed significantly since 1992 and is down from a peak of 5.7 million (3.0 percent of the population) in 1985.
- The estimated number of past month heroin users increased from 68,000 (less than 0.1 percent of the population) in 1993 to 325,000(0.2 percent of the population) in 1997, similar to the 1996 level.
- There was no statistically
significant increase among teens 12 - 17 for past month use from 1996 to 1997.
- In 1997, an estimated 64 million Americans were current smokers including 4.5 million youth ages 12 - 17. This represents a national smoking rate of 30 percent, with no overall change between 1996 and 1997.
- Youth age 12-17 who currently smoked cigarettes were about twelve times as likely to use illicit drugs and 23 times as likely to drink heavily as nonsmoking youth.
- In 1997, approximately 111 million persons age 12 and over were current alcohol users, which was about 51 percent
of the total population. Of these, about 31.9 million persons (15.3 percent of the population) engaged in binge
drinking, and about 11.2 million Americans (5.4 percent of the population) were heavy drinkers.
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month will be observed September, 1998 to promote the importance and effectiveness of substance abuse treatment.
The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment has produced an activity kit to help people organize events and get involved in this promotion. The kit includes media materials and targeted materials for groups such as business leaders, healthcare workers and religious leaders.
Viagra Popular on England's Club Scene
This from the JTO Wire. "The impotency drug Viagra has become popular in London's night clubs, replacing Ecstasy and cocaine, the Tabloid News Service reported Aug. 31.
people have been buying Viagra, or "poke" as it
is called by the locals, from drug dealers. "It's
without the legal hassle you get with selling coke
and Ecstasy," said one drug dealer. "With poke
you get a slap on the wrist if you are caught. Any
more than a couple of grams of coke and you
are looking at a two-year stretch."
While Viagra is designed to help men overcome
impotency problems, young people in Britain are
using Viagra for its rejuvenating powers. British
doctors fear that club-goers will take Viagra with
other recreational drugs and the combination
could lead to a heart attack."
I understand that Viagra was also noted as a potential drug af abuse in the United States by the Community Epidemiology Work Group.
Harm Reduction Web Pages
Push Harm Reduction web site contains a collection of papers on the harm reduction notion. It also contains links to other sites with harm reduction and related information. This is a good place to start if you are interested in learning more about this concept.
Because It Matters
Because It Matters is a set of public awareness materials including press
releases, small space ads, background documents and graphic images prepared by the Minnesota Institute of Public Health. Each element can be tailored to reflect a community's specific needs.
Because It Matters focuses on five simple messages about alcohol use. These messages help adults, families and communities build shared standards for using or declining to use alcohol. What do the messages say?
- Affirm adults who choose to drink alcohol legally, safely and appropriately.
- Support those who choose not to drink alcohol.
- Share our concerns with those who choose to drink illegally or in an unsafe or inappropriate manner.
- Encourage discussion about whether, when, where and how much to drink.
- Model legal, safe and appropriate behavior related to alcohol.
Community Epidemiology Work Group
The Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG)
is a network composed of researchers from major metropolitan areas of the United States and selected foreign countries
which meets semiannually to discuss the current epidemiology of drug abuse. The primary mission of the Work Group is to
provide ongoing community-level surveillance of drug abuse through analysis of quantitative and qualitative research data.
Through this program the CEWG provides current descriptive and analytical information regarding the nature and patterns
of drug abuse, emerging trends, characteristics of vulnerable populations and social and health consequences.
Summaries of their reports are available on their web page.
Web of Addictions Recognition
The Web of Addictions is listed in the Medindex, medical search engine.
Children Are People Support Groups
Survivors Art Foundation
Rainbow - International Association Against Drugs
Secular Organizations for Sobriety /Save Our Selves / SOS has a new web site.
See earlier What's New Pages
The Web of Addictions pages Copyright © 1995, 1996 by Andrew L. Homer Ph.D.
Dick Dillon. All rights reserved.
If you know of any addictions related news, web developments, announcements or interesting
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