Definitions of Terms:
Current illicit drug user: Someone who has used illicit drugs at least once in the last month.
Substance abuse places a major burden on all segments of American society, including the workplace.
In 2014, 27.0 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the past 30 days, which corresponds to about 1 in 10 Americans (10.2 percent).1 This percentage in 2014 was higher than those in every year from 2002 through 2013. The illicit drug use estimate for 2014 continues to be driven primarily by marijuana use and the nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers, with 22.2 million current marijuana users aged 12 or older (i.e., users in the past 30 days) and 4.3 million people aged 12 or older who reported current nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers. The higher percentage of people who were current illicit drug users in 2014 than in prior years appears to reflect trends in marijuana use. The percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current marijuana users (8.4 percent) also was greater than the percentages in 2002 to 2013. In addition, the estimate of current marijuana use was greater in 2014 than the estimates in 2002 to 2009 for young adults aged 18 to 25 and in 2002 to 2013 for adults aged 26 or older. Although nonmedical pain reliever use continued to be the second most common type of illicit drug use in 2014, the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current nonmedical users of pain relievers (1.6 percent) was lower than the percentages in most years from 2002 to 2012, but it was similar to the percentage in 2013. Percentages for current nonmedical use of pain relievers also were lower in 2014 than in 2002 to 2011 for adolescents aged 12 to 17 and in 2002 to 2012 for young adults aged 18 to 25. The use of many types of other illicit drugs has not increased in recent years. However, the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current heroin users was higher than the percentages in most years from 2002 to 2013.
In 2014, an estimated 66.9 million people aged 12 or older were current users of a tobacco product, including 55.2 million cigarette smokers. Across all age groups, tobacco use and cigarette use were lower in 2014 than in most years from 2002 to 2013. For example, about 1 in 8 adolescents aged 12 to 17 (13.0 percent) were current cigarette smokers in 2002. By 2014, about 1 in 20 adolescents (4.9 percent) were current smokers.
There were 139.7 million past month alcohol drinkers aged 12 or older in 2014, including 60.9 million who were binge alcohol users and 16.3 million who were heavy alcohol users.2 In 2014, the percentage of people aged 12 or older who were past month alcohol users (52.7 percent) was similar to the percentages in 2009 through 2013. The percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were past month heavy alcohol users (6.2 percent) also was similar to the percentages in 2011 through 2013. However, estimates of binge drinking among people aged 12 or older did not change over the period from 2002 to 2014 (23.0 percent in 2014). Underage alcohol use (i.e., among people aged 12 to 20) and binge and heavy use among young adults aged 18 to 25 have declined over time but remain a concern. In 2014, 22.8 percent of underage people were current alcohol users, 13.8 percent were binge alcohol users, and 3.4 percent were heavy alcohol users. These percentages were lower than the percentages in 2002 to 2012, but they were similar to the percentages in 2013. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the percentages who were binge or heavy alcohol users in 2014 were lower than those in 2002 to 2012. Nevertheless, more than one third of young adults in 2014 were binge alcohol users (37.7 percent), and about 1 in 10 were heavy alcohol users (10.8 percent).
Substance Use Disorders
Approximately 21.5 million people aged 12 or older in 2014 had a substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year,3 including 17.0 million people with an alcohol use disorder, 7.1 million with an illicit drug use disorder, and 2.6 million who had both an alcohol use and an illicit drug use disorder. The percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who had an SUD (8.1 percent) was similar to the percentages in 2011 to 2013, but it was lower than those in 2002 through 2010. Percentages of adolescents aged 12 to 17 and young adults aged 18 to 25 who had an alcohol use disorder, marijuana use disorder, or pain reliever use disorder in 2014 were lower than the percentages in several or all years from 2002 to 2012.
Substance Use Disorders
In 2014, about 1 in 5 adults aged 18 or older (18.1 percent, or 43.6 million adults) had any mental illness (AMI) in the past year, and 4.1 percent (9.8 million adults) had serious mental illness (SMI).4 The percentage of adults with AMI remained stable from 2008 to 2014, and the percentage of adults with SMI in 2014 was similar to the percentages in 2010 to 2013. In 2014, 11.4 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 (2.8 million adolescents) had a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year.5 The 2014 percentage was higher than the percentages in 2004 to 2012, but it was similar to the percentage in 2013. Youths aged 12 to 17 in 2014 who had a past year MDE were more likely than those without a past year MDE to have used any illicit drugs in the past year (33.0 vs. 15.2 percent).
Co-Occurring Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders
About 3.3 percent of all adults in 2014 had both AMI and an SUD in the past year, and 1.0 percent had both SMI and an SUD. An estimated 340,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 in 2014 (1.4 percent of adolescents) had an SUD and an MDE in the past year. The estimate in 2014 for the co-occurrence of an MDE and an SUD in the past year among adolescents was similar to those in most years between 2006 and 2013.
Highlights from earlier years are located on the Drug Free Campus Archive.Return to Top
It is the policy of this university that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, use of alcohol and illicit drugs on the ETSU campus in the workplace (on or off campus), on property owned or controlled by ETSU, or as part of any activity of ETSU is strictly prohibited. All employees and students are subject to applicable federal, state and local laws related to this matter. Additionally, any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action.
For complete policy information, see ETSU's Policy Statement on Drug Free Campus, PPP-26
There are many health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol including organic damage; impairment of brain activity, digestion, and blood circulation; impairment of physiological processes and mental functioning; and, physical and psychological dependence. Such use during pregnancy may cause spontaneous abortion, various birth defects or fetal alcohol syndrome. Additionally, the illicit use of drugs increases the risk of contracting hepatitis, AIDS and other infections. If used excessively, the use of alcohol or drugs singularly or in certain combinations may cause death.
(ETSU is not responsible for off-campus site content)
(ETSU is not responsible for off-campus site content)
Partners for Health
|ETSU Employee Assistance Program||(423) 439-5825|
|ETSU Department of Public Safety||(423) 439-4480|
Alcoholics Anonymous (24-Hour Hotline)
Comprehensive Community Services
(Alcohol & Drug Counseling & Prevention Center)
|Woodridge Hospital||(423) 431-7111|
|Woodridge Hospital Mental Health Crisis Hotline||(800) 366-1132|
Frontier Health Crisis Services
|Alcoholics Anonymous - East Tennessee Information||(865) 974-9888|