National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA-1985)

Parent 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:
This series 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, tobacco, and nonmedical use of prescription drugs among members of United States households aged 12 and older. Questions include age at first use as well as lifetime, annual, and past-month usage for the following drug classes: cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, alcohol, tobacco, nonmedical use of prescription drugs including psychotherapeutics, and polysubstance use. Respondents were also asked about health conditions, substance abuse treatment history, problems resulting from their use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, their perceptions of the risks involved, and personal and family income sources and amounts. Demographic data include gender, race, age, ethnicity, marital status, motor vehicle use, educational level, job status, income level, veteran status, past and current household composition, and population density.

Study Scope

Time period: 
1985
Collection date: 
1985-06/1985-12
Geographic coverage : 
United States
Unit of observation: 
individual
Data types: 
survey data
Universe: 
The civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the coterminous United States (Alaska and Hawaii excluded) aged 12 and older.
Notes: 
Data were collected by the Temple University Institute for Survey Research, Philadelphia, PA, under contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The data and codebook were prepared for release by Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC, and the codebook was initially distributed by National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, IL, under contracts with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
For selected variables, statistical imputation was done following logical imputation to replace missing responses. These variables are identified in the codebook as "...LOGICALLY IMPUTED" and "...imputed" for the logical procedure or by the designation "IMPUTATION-REVISED" in the variable label when the statistical procedure was also performed. The names of statistically imputed variables begin with the letters "IR". For each imputation-revised variable there is a corresponding imputation indicator variable that indicates whether a case's value on the variable resulted from an interview response or was imputed by the hot-deck technique. Hot-deck imputation is described on pages 16-17 of the codebook.
Sample weights were constructed following data collection to account for sample households and persons who were not at home or refused to participate. The household sampling weight is the product of four stagewise sampling weights, each of which is equal to the inverse of the selection probability for that stage. Two post-stratification adjustments were made to compensate for differential response rates across demographic subgroups and residual deviation of selected demographic characteristics of the sample from parameter data (based on the 1980 Census).
To protect the confidentiality of respondents, all variables that could be used to identify individuals have been encrypted or collapsed in the public use file. These modifications should not affect analytic uses of the public use file.
Revisions involving the editing of recency-of-use variables and removal of ineligible respondents were made to the original 1985 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) data file to make it more comparable with later NHSDAs. This resulted in several differences between the original and public use files. Although differences in prevalence estimates are generally small, estimates contained in the National Institute on Drug Abuse publication, 1985 NHSDA MAIN FINDINGS, cannot be replicated using the public use file.
For some drugs that have multiple names, questions regarding the use of that drug may be asked for each distinct name. For example, the use of methedrine and desoxyn are measured separately in this study even though they are both methamphetamine.
Subject Terms: 
  • alcohol abuse
  • alcohol consumption
  • amphetamines
  • barbiturates
  • cocaine
  • drug abuse
  • drug use
  • drugs
  • hallucinogens
  • heroin
  • households
  • inhalants
  • marijuana
  • methamphetamine
  • prescription drugs
  • sedatives
  • smoking
  • stimulants
  • substance abuse
  • substance abuse treatment
  • tobacco use
  • tranquilizers
  • youths

Study Methodology

Sample: 
Multistage area probability sample design involving four selection stages: (a) primary areas (e.g., counties), (b) area segments within primary areas (e.g., blocks or enumeration districts), (c) listing units within area segments, (d) sample households within listing units, from which one eligible resident (if any) was selected. The three race/ethnic groups were: whites/others, Blacks, and Hispanics. Minorities and younger household members were oversampled. The four age groups were: ages 12 to 17, 18 to 25, 26 to 34, and 35 and older. The probability of selection varied with the composition of the household for different age/ethnicity groups and with the number of residents within the selected age group.
Versions: 
  • 2015-02-03: Created a separate Questionnaire PDF that was extracted from the Codebook PDF.
  • 2013-06-19: Updated variable-level ddi files released.
  • 2008-07-25: New files were added. These files included one or more of the following: Stata setup, SAS transport (CPORT), SPSS system, Stata system, SAS supplemental syntax, and Stata supplemental syntax files, and tab-delimited ASCII data file. Also the variable CASEID was added to the dataset. Some other minor edits were made to improve the data and documentation.
  • 1999-06-16: SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been updated to include value labels and missing values sections.
Extent of processing: 
  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.