Survey Analyzes Numbers on Drug Use and Mental Health Issues

Behavior Health Business published the results of a new National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) analyzing illegal substance use among U.S. adults. The data collected from the federal government indicates increased usage, but it doesn’t currently seem to have resulted in higher rates of substance use disorder (SUD).

The survey resulted in a 162-page final report and 441 data tables from interviews with more than 70,000 people 12 and older. Users 18 and older showed an almost four percent rise between 2021 and 2022, but marijuana looks like the only substance use that increased during that time. About 59 million reported using marijuana compared to the second highest category (misused prescription psychotherapeutics with just under 14 million users). About 18 percent of adults (or approximately 46.5 million) self-reported a substance use disorder (SUD) in 2022, which registered an increase of about a half percentage point over the previous year.

Mental illness rates remained flat at just over 23 percent in 2022. Only about half of those respondents reported reaching out for mental health treatment, with the top two reasons given for not seeking treatment for both SUD and mental health treatment reported as believing they should be able to handle it themselves, and not feeling ready to start treatment. Some of the other concerns given included not knowing how to access care and the time required to find and get treatment, as well as worries about the cost.

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