Government says illicit drug use on the rise

Washington – The rate of illicit drug use increased between 2008 and 2010, according to a report released Sept. 8 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 22.6 million Americans 12 and older were illicit drug users. This represents 8.9 percent of the population – up from 8 percent in 2008.

One of the greatest increases was seen among marijuana use, which rose to 17.4 million Americans in 2010 from 14.4 million in 2007. Illicit drug use among young adults 18-25 years old increased to 21.5 percent of the population in 2010 from 19.6 percent in 2008.

Non-medical use of prescription drugs, hallucinogens and inhalants have remained relatively stable, and use of certain drugs has declined in recent years. The number of methamphetamine users dropped by half between 2006 and 2010, and the number of cocaine users dropped to 1.5 million in 2010 from 2.4 million in 2004. The survey also found a decrease in alcohol and tobacco use among teens.

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