Agency Provides Substance Use, Mental Health Information for Each State

A new report providing analyses of substance use and mental health patterns occurring in each state reveals that there are wide variations among the states in problems like illicit drug use and underage drinking, but that no state was immune from these problems. For example, past month use of alcohol among people aged 12 to 20 (underage use of alcohol) ranged from a low of 21.5 percent in Utah to a high of 38.3 percent in Vermont. Yet Utah had the highest level of people age 18 or older reporting serious psychological distress in the past year (14.4 percent), while Hawaii had the lowest level (8.8 percent).

The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that although there are some differences in the patterns of substance use and mental health problems experienced among states and regions, all parts of the country are seriously affected by these problems.

"This report shows that although states may be uniquely affected by serious public health problems like underage drinking, every state and region must confront these issues," said SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D. "By highlighting the nature and scope of the challenges affecting each state, we can help focus and target substance abuse and mental illness prevention and treatment resources."

State Estimates of Substance Use is based on the 2005-2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and provides state-level estimates for 23 measures of substance use and mental health problems, including underage drinking, use of illicit drugs, serious psychological distress, major depression, and tobacco use. These estimates are based on combined data collected from 136,110 respondents surveyed in 2005 and 2006 (the most recent data available). The report also reveals statistically significant changes that have occurred within each state between 2004-2005 and 2005-2006.

The full report is available on the at http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k6State/toc.cfm.

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