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


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.
Young 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?

We can:

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.

New Links

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

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