Every year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) puts together the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The information this survey provides the public, researchers, and the government include the prevalence of substance use and abuse as well as the population’s dependence on drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The survey is conducted for individuals in the country who are 12 years of age and older. The information below describes some of the current trends in the United States in 2018.

Substance Use

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that over 60 percent of those surveyed used some substance either tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs. Less than 40 percent report not using a substance. Broken down, almost 140 million people drank alcohol, close to 60 million people used a tobacco product, while over 30 million people used an illicit drug.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is declining for traditional products. From 2002 through 2018 cigarette use declined. However, this could be due to the popularity of vaping devices. While cigars and cigarettes are seeing a decrease in use, the popularity of vaping devices for delivering nicotine could be a reason why. This variable has not been confirmed because the NSDUH doesn’t ask about nicotine vaping. For cigarette smokers, those who smoked daily reported smoking at least one pack per day.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol use was widespread with more than 130 million people drinking. Close to half of all those who reported drinking admitted to binge drinking while over 12 percent reported being heavy drinkers. In 2018, 1 out of 11 adolescents reported using alcohol with more than half of those who reported use, also admitted they engaged in binge drinking.

Illicit Drug Use

According to the survey, 1 in 5 individuals reported using illicit drugs which is an increase from 2015 and 2016. Marijuana was the most used drug in 2018, with over 40 million of those surveyed admitting to using the plant. The age groups of those aged 18 and older had the largest increase in the use of marijuana.

The second most common form of illicit drug use in the country for 2018 was prescription painkillers. According to the survey, approximately 3.6 percent of the population misused these drugs. More than half of these individuals said that they obtained the drugs from a friend or a relative. Over 500,000 people that used these prescription pain killers also reported using heroin.

Do You Have A Substance Use Disorder?

Nationwide Alcohol And Drug TrendsThere were more than 20 million individuals who were reported to have a substance use disorder (SUD) in 2018. Approximately 1 in 13 people or 7.8 percent of the population needed treatment for their SUD. Even though there is such a need for treatment, only 1.4 percent received treatment in 2018.

If you have a SUD, don’t deny yourself the opportunity to heal. The medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place can help you overcome your SUD. Discovery Place’s Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center has programs specifically designed to help addicts detox safely and learn how to manage their emotional and psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol.

Call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center anytime day or night at 1-800-725-0922 to discuss your situation. We are here to help you get well again.


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    Alumni Parent
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    Tommy Parker
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    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
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    Tyler Buckingham

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