National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2015 (NSDUH-2015-DS0001)

Study Series details:

Background

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) series, formerly titled National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, is a major source of statistical information on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and on mental health issues among members of the U.S. civilian, non-institutional population aged 12 or older. The survey tracks trends in specific substance use and mental illness measures and assesses the consequences of these conditions by examining mental and/or substance use disorders and treatment for these disorders.

Examples of uses of NSDUH data include the identification of groups at high risk for initiation of substance use and issues among those with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness.

NSDUH public-use data files are available for download in SAS, SPSS, STATA and ASCII formats, and online analysis with SDA. NSDUH restricted-use data files are available for online analysis with the R-DAS.

The NSDUH is sponsored by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (formerly Office of Applied Studies), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. For more information, visit the NSDUH website.

NSDUH State Estimates

To access 2014-2015 NSDUH State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders click here.

NSDUH Variable Crosswalk Charts

PUFVariableCrosswalkChart_2012.xlsx
PUFVariableCrosswalkChart_2013.xlsx
PUFVariableCrosswalkChart_2014.xlsx
PUFVariableCrosswalkChart_2015.xlsx

 

NSDUH Questionnaire Details

The population of the NSDUH series is the general civilian population aged 12 and older in the United States. Questions include age at first use, as well as lifetime, annual, and past-month usage for the following drugs: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine (including crack), hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, tobacco, pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. The survey covers substance abuse treatment history and perceived need for treatment, and includes questions from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders that allow diagnostic criteria to be applied.

Respondents were also asked about personal and family income sources and amounts, health care access and coverage, illegal activities and arrest record, problems resulting from the use of drugs, perceptions of risks, and needle-sharing. Demographic data include gender, race, age, ethnicity, educational level, job status, income level, veteran status, household composition, and population density.

The questionnaire was significantly redesigned in 1994. The 1994 survey included for the first time a rural population supplement to allow separate estimates to be calculated for this population. Other modules have been added each year and retained in subsequent years: mental health and access to care (1994-B); risk/availability of drugs (1996); cigar smoking and new questions on marijuana and cocaine use (1997); question series asked only of respondents aged 12 to 17 (1997); questions on tobacco brand (1999); marijuana purchase questions (2001); prior marijuana and cigarette use, additional questions on drug treatment, adult mental health services, and social environment (2003); and adult and adolescent depression questions derived from the National Comorbidity Survey, Replication (NCS-R) and National Comorbidity Survey, Adolescent (NCS-A) (2004).

Survey administration and sample design were improved with the implementation of the 1999 survey, and additional improvements were made in 2002. Since 1999, the survey sample has employed a 50-state design with an independent, multistage area probability sample for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. At this time, the collection mode of the survey changed from personal interviews and self-enumerated answer sheets to using computer-assisted personal interviews and audio computer-assisted self-interviews. In 2002, the survey’s title was officially changed to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Since 2002, participants are given $30 for participating in the study. This resulted in an increase in participation rates from the years prior to 2002. Also, in 2002 and 2011, the new population data from the 2000 and 2010 decennial Censuses, respectively, became available for use in the sample weighting procedures. For these reasons, data gathered for 2002 and beyond cannot validly be compared to data prior to 2002.


Study details:
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) series (formerly titled National Household Survey on Drug Abuse) primarily measures the prevalence and correlates of drug use in the United States. The surveys are designed to provide quarterly, as well as annual estimates. Information is provided on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco among members of United States households aged 12 and older. Questions included age at first use as well as lifetime, annual, and past-month usage for the following drug classes: marijuana, cocaine (and crack), hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, alcohol, tobacco, and nonmedical use of prescription drugs, including pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. The survey covered substance abuse treatment history and perceived need for treatment, and included questions from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders that allow diagnostic criteria to be applied. The survey included questions concerning treatment for both substance abuse and mental health-related disorders. Respondents were also asked about personal and family income sources and amounts, health care access and coverage, illegal activities and arrest record, problems resulting from the use of drugs, and needle-sharing. Questions introduced in previous administrations were retained in the 2015 survey, including questions asked only of respondents aged 12 to 17. These "youth experiences" items covered a variety of topics, such as neighborhood environment, illegal activities, drug use by friends, social support, extracurricular activities, exposure to substance abuse prevention and education programs, and perceived adult attitudes toward drug use and activities such as school work. Several measures focused on prevention-related themes in this section. Also retained were questions on mental health and access to care, perceived risk of using drugs, perceived availability of drugs, driving and personal behavior, and cigar smoking. Questions on the tobacco brand used most often were introduced with the 1999 survey. For the 2008 survey, adult mental health questions were added to measure symptoms of psychological distress in the worst period of distress that a person experienced in the past 30 days and suicidal ideation. In 2008, a split-sample design also was included to administer separate sets of questions (WHODAS vs. SDS) to assess impairment due to mental health problems. Beginning with the 2009 NSDUH, however, all of the adults in the sample received only the WHODAS questions. Background information includes gender, race, age, ethnicity, marital status, educational level, job status, veteran status, and current household composition.