FACT FILE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2014 | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

FACT FILE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2014

September 17, 2015
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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The latest data from SAMHSA characterizing the prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders and the associated treatment of such disorders indicates a number of trends remained flat. In the National Survey on Drug Use and Health released this month, data was collected from 17,046 interviews from adolescents (aged 12 to 17) and 50,855 interviews from adults (aged 18 or older).


Trends remaining flat:

  • Those receiving treatment for substance use disorder
  • Those receiving treatment for a mental health disorder
  • Alcohol use overall
  • Substance use disorder overall
  • Prevalence of any mental health issue

Trend showing increase:

  • Illicit drug use

Trends showing decreases:

  • Nonmedical use of pain relievers
  • Underage alcohol use

Worth noting:

  • In 2014, among the estimated 19.9 million who needed substance use treatment but did not receive it, more than 96% did not believe it was needed.
  • More than half of adults reporting a need for mental healthcare who did not receive treatment said cost was the barrier.
  • The estimated 4.1 million people who received substance use treatment in the past year represent 1.6 percent of the population in the United States. The trend has been statistically flat since 2003.
  • The top two substances addressed by treatment were alcohol (2.4 million people) and marijuana (1 million).
  • Data indicates about 4.3 million individuals abuse prescription pain relievers, with those in the young adult age group (aged 18 to 25) the most prevalent users. However, use among young adults has been trending down over the past five years.
  •  In 2014, about 772,000 people aged 12 or older received help for prescription pain reliever use during their most recent treatment experience.
  • An estimated 618,000 people aged 12 or older in 2014 received treatment for heroin use, a trend that shows a clear upward slope since 2008.
  • An estimated 11.8 million adults said there was a time in the past 12 months when they thought they needed treatment for mental health issues but they did not receive it, a trend that has remained flat since 2002, the first year of available data. 
  • About 7.9 million adults in 2014 had both mental health and substance use disorders in the past year.

Where treatment for substance use disorder is received