National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA-1992)

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 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, anabolic steroids, and tobacco among members of United States households aged 12 and older. Data are also provided on treatment for drug use and on illegal activities related to drug use. Questions include age at first use, as well as lifetime, annual, and past-month usage for the following drug classes: marijuana, inhalants, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, alcohol, tobacco, and nonmedical use of psychotherapeutics. Respondents were also asked about problems resulting from their use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, their perceptions of the risks involved, insurance coverage, and personal and family income sources and amounts. Demographic data include gender, race, ethnicity, educational level, job status, income level, household composition, and population density.

Study Scope

Time period: 
1992
Collection date: 
1992-01-09/1992-12-31
Geographic coverage : 
United States
Unit of observation: 
individual
Data types: 
survey data
Universe: 
The civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 and older, including residents of noninstitutional group quarters, such as college dormitories, group homes, and shelters, as well as civilians dwelling on military installations.
Notes: 
Data were collected by Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC, and prepared for release by National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, IL.
For selected variables, statistical imputation was performed following logical imputation to replace missing responses. These variables are identified by the designation "IMPUTATION-REVISED" in the variable label, and the names of these 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, logical imputation, or statistical imputation. The names of imputation indicator variables begin with the letters "II".
To protect confidentiality of respondents, all variables that could be used to identify individuals have been deleted from the public use file. Furthermore, some continuous variables, including Census variables, have been categorized, and a special code, "data suppressed for reasons of confidentiality," has been assigned wherever necessary to prevent identification of small geographic areas. These modifications and suppressions should not affect analytic uses of 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, even though methamphetamine, methedrine and desoxyn are the same drug, their use was measured in three separate variables.
Subject Terms: 
  • alcohol abuse
  • alcohol consumption
  • amphetamines
  • barbiturates
  • cocaine
  • demographic characteristics
  • drug abuse
  • drug use
  • drugs
  • hallucinogens
  • heroin
  • households
  • inhalants
  • marijuana
  • methamphetamine
  • prescription drugs
  • sedatives
  • smoking
  • steroid use
  • stimulants
  • substance abuse
  • substance abuse treatment
  • tobacco use
  • tranquilizers
  • youths

Study Methodology

Sample: 
Multistage area probability sample design involving five selection stages: (a) primary areas (e.g., counties), (b) subareas within primary areas (blocks or block groups), (c) dwelling (listing) units (housing units or group quarters) within subareas, (d) age group domains within listing units, and (e) individuals within sampled age groups. Each dwelling was classified by race/ethnicity based on the head of the dwelling. The three race/ethnicity classifications were Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black (Black), and non-Hispanic non-Black (Whites and others). Interviewers sampled individuals after determining age group domains for each household. The age group selection probabilities were based on the desired sample sizes for each age group by race/ethnicity. The probabilities of selecting a person within an age group were based on the number of persons in the age group in each dwelling. Six Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) of special interest were oversampled: Washington, DC, New York, Miami, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. These MSAs were oversampled to allow separate estimation for low socioeconomic status (SES) urbanized areas and for all other areas of each MSA. Blacks, Hispanics, and youths aged 12-17 were also oversampled.
Weight: 
Data were weighted based on the five stages of sampling that were used. Adjustments were made to compensate for nonresponse and sampling error. Adjustments also included trimming sample weights to reduce excessive weight variation and a post-stratification to Census population estimates. The final weight variable to be used in analysis is ANALWT.
Response rates: 
  • A completed interview had to contain, at a minimum, data on the recency of use of marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol. The overall response rate was 82.5 percent. The response rates for the three race/ ethnicity groups were 86 percent for Hispanics, 84.8 percent for Blacks, and 80.1 percent for Whites and others.
Versions: 
  • 2013-05-06: Data collection instrument released.
  • 2008-08-18: 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. Modified value labels and missing values for variable GQTYPE to correct previous errors. The variable CASEID was also added to the dataset.
  • 1999-06-16: SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been updated to include value labels and missing values sections.
  • 1997-06-27: A machine-readable codebook in Portable Document Format (PDF) is now available.
Extent of processing: 
  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Study Bibliography