Crime in America.Net
Gentlereaders: Drug use continues to increase. Criminology 101—increased drug use means more crime.
Criminology is filled with endless references to drug use and criminality; see http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/232790.pdf for the latest example from the Department of Justice.
The United States has recorded fairly steady decreases in crime for the last twenty years and every statistician will tell you that what goes down must come up eventually (or its inverse equation). See http://crimeinamerica.net/crime-rates-united-states/.
If we continue to record significant gains in drug and marijuana use, we will record increases in crime (let the disbelieving and angry e-mails commence regarding marijuana). Crime and marijuana use are connected through considerable research (OMG-did I really say that?).
See http://crimeinamerica.net/category/drugs-marijuana-legalization/ for details.
But it’s the Baby Boomers that defy all logic. Regardless as to the dangers involved, the largest gains in drug use seem to be among people who should know better. It’s what we jokingly refer to “pacemakers on pot.”
To our aged friends, the marijuana you enjoyed when young is approximately one-sixth the potency of today’s pot, which is why marijuana is a leading cause of trips to emergency rooms. Rock-on old people.
This report presents the first information from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The survey interviews approximately 67,500 persons each year.
Illicit Drug Use
• In 2009, an estimated 21.8 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 8.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.
• The rate of current illicit drug use among persons aged 12 or older in 2009 (8.7 percent) was higher than the rate in 2008 (8.0 percent).
• Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug. In 2009, there were 16.7 million past month users. Among persons aged 12 or older, the rate of past month marijuana use and the number of users in 2009 (6.6 percent or 16.7 million) were higher than in 2008 (6.1 percent or 15.2 million) and in 2007 (5.8 percent or 14.4 million).
• In 2009, there were 1.6 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older, comprising 0.7 percent of the population. These estimates were similar to the number and rate in 2008 (1.9 million or 0.7 percent) but were lower than the estimates in 2006 (2.4 million or 1.0 percent).
• Hallucinogens were used in the past month by 1.3 million persons (0.5 percent) aged 12 or older in 2009, including 760,000 (0.3 percent) who had used Ecstasy. The number and percentage of Ecstasy users increased between 2008 (555,000 or 0.2 percent) and 2009.
• In 2009, there were 7.0 million (2.8 percent) persons aged 12 or older who used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically in the past month. These estimates were higher than in 2008 (6.2 million or 2.5 percent), but similar to estimates in 2007 (6.9 million or 2.8 percent).
• The number of past month methamphetamine users decreased between 2006 and 2008, but then increased in 2009. The numbers were 731,000 (0.3 percent) in 2006, 529,000 (0.2 percent) in 2007, 314,000 (0.1 percent) in 2008, and 502,000 (0.2 percent) in 2009.
Drug Use for Youth 12-17
• Among youths aged 12 to 17, the current illicit drug use rate increased from 2008 (9.3 percent) to 2009 (10.0 percent). Between 2002 and 2008, the rate declined from 11.6 to 9.3 percent.
• The rate of current marijuana use among youths aged 12 to 17 decreased from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2006, remained unchanged at 6.7 percent in 2007 and 2008, then increased to 7.3 percent in 2009.
• Among youths aged 12 to 17, the rate of nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs declined from 4.0 percent in 2002 to 2.9 percent in 2008, then held steady at 3.1 percent in 2009.
Drug Use for Young Adults 18-25
• Between 2008 and 2009, the rate of current use of illicit drugs among young adults aged 18 to 25 increased from 19.6 to 21.2 percent, driven largely by an increase in marijuana use (from 16.5 to 18.1 percent).
• From 2002 to 2009, there was an increase among young adults aged 18 to 25 in the rate of current nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs (from 5.5 to 6.3 percent), driven primarily by an increase in pain reliever misuse (from 4.1 to 4.8 percent). There were decreases in the use of cocaine (from 2.0 to 1.4 percent) and methamphetamine (from 0.6 to 0.2 percent).
Drug Use for Adults 50-59
• Among those aged 50 to 59, the rate of past month illicit drug use increased from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 6.2 percent in 2009. This trend partially reflects the aging into this age group of the baby boom cohort, whose lifetime rate of illicit drug use is higher than those of older cohorts.
Where Drug Users are Getting Pain Killers
• Among persons aged 12 or older in 2008-2009 who used pain relievers non-medically in the past 12 months, 55.3 percent got the drug they most recently used from a friend or relative for free. Another 17.6 percent reported they got the drug from one doctor. Only 4.8 percent got pain relievers from a drug dealer or other stranger, and 0.4 percent bought them on the Internet.
Drug Use and the Unemployed
• Among unemployed adults aged 18 or older in 2009, 17.0 percent were current illicit drug users, which was higher than the 8.0 percent of those employed full time and 11.5 percent of those employed part time. However, most illicit drug users were employed.
Driving and Drugs
• In 2009, 10.5 million persons aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year. This corresponds to 4.2 percent of the population aged 12 or older, which is similar to the rate in 2008 (4.0 percent) and the rate in 2002 (4.7 percent). In 2009, the rate was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (12.8 percent).
• Slightly more than half of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2009 survey (51.9 percent). This translates to an estimated 130.6 million people, which is similar to the 2008 estimate of 129.0 million people (51.6 percent).