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Recent Findings From Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Surveys

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service tracks the nation's substance abuse patterns through three major surveys: the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), the Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The NHSDA, directed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides annual estimates of the prevalence of illicit drug, alcohol and tobacco use in the United States and monitors trends over time. It is based on a representative sample of the U.S. population age 12 and older. Findings from the 2001 NHSDA are available at:  http://www.samhsa.gov/oas/nhsda.htm

Monitoring the Future. The MTF survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tracks illicit drug use trends and attitudes by 8th, 10th and 12th grade students. The 2001 study surveyed more than 44,000 students in 424 schools across the nation about lifetime use, past year use, past month use and daily use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Findings of the 2001 MTF survey are available at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/MTF.html.

Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Youth Risk Behavior Survey is a biennial school-based survey that collects data from a representative sample of students in grades 9-12 on health-related risks. In addition to surveying tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, the survey covers other injury-related behaviors such as weapon carrying and attempted suicide, sexual and dietary behaviors and physical activity. Findings of the 1999 YRBS are available at: http://www.cdc.gov/YRBS.

(Adapted from information on Fact Sheet,Substance Abuse: A National Challenge: Prevention, Treatment and Research, September 5, 2003, a publication of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.hhs.gov)


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Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.