• The rate of current illicit drug use varied by age. Among youths aged 12 to 17 in 2010, the rate increased from 4.0 percent at ages 12 or 13 to 9.3 percent at ages 14 or 15 to 16.6 percent at ages 16 or 17 (Figure 2.4). The highest rate of current illicit drug use was among 18 to 20 year olds (23.1 percent), with the next highest rate among 21 to 25 year olds (20.5 percent). Thereafter, the rate generally declined with age, although not all declines were significant. For instance, the rate was 14.8 percent among those aged 26 to 29, 12.9 percent among those aged 30 to 34, and 1.1 percent among those aged 65 or older.

Figure 2.4 Past Month Illicit Drug Use among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age: 2009 and 2010

Figure 2.4

+ Difference between this estimate and the 2010 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.

  • In 2010, adults aged 26 or older were less likely to be current users of illicit drugs than youths aged 12 to 17 or young adults aged 18 to 25 (6.6 vs. 10.1 and 21.5 percent, respectively) (Figure 2.5). However, there were more current users of illicit drugs aged 26 or older (12.8 million) than users aged 12 to 17 (2.5 million) and users aged 18 to 25 (7.3 million) combined.

Source SAMHSA

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