SAMHSA Data on Average Adolescent Substance Use
On an average day, 881,684 teenagers aged 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The report also says that on an average day 646,707 adolescents smoked marijuana and 457,672 drank alcohol.
To provide some perspective, the number of adolescents using marijuana on an average day could almost fill the Indianapolis Speedway (seating capacity 250,000 seats) two and a half times.
"This data about adolescents sheds new light on how deeply substance use pervades the lives of many young people and their families," says SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde, JD. “While other studies indicate that significant progress has been made in lowering the levels of some forms of substance use among adolescents in the past decade, this report shows that far too many young people are still at risk."
The report, which highlights the substance abuse behavior and addiction treatment activities that occur among adolescents on an average day, draws on various SAMHSA data sets.
The report also sheds light on how many adolescents aged 12 to 17 used illegal substances for the first time. On an average day:
• 7,639 drank alcohol for the first time;
Using data from SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set, the report also analyzes how many adolescents aged 12 to 17 were receiving treatment for a substance abuse problem during an average day. These numbers included the following:
• over 71,000 in outpatient treatment;
In terms of hospital emergency department visits involving adolescents aged 12 to 17, on an average day marijuana is involved in 165 visits, alcohol is involved in 187 visits, and misuse of prescription or nonprescription pain relievers is implicated in 74 visits.
— Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration