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U.S. residents continue to be more likely to report the non-medical use of prescription drugs† than the

use of almost all types of illicit drugs, according to recently released data from the 2010 National

Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Approximately 5% of persons ages 12 or older reported

using prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year and 2% reported the nonmedical use of

prescription tranquilizers—more than any type of illicit drug with the exception of marijuana. The

nonmedical use of prescription stimulants was slightly less prevalent at 1.1%. All other substances,

including ecstasy and prescription sedatives used nonmedically, were used by 1% or less of U.S.

residents. These rankings have remained relatively unchanged over the past five years (see CESAR FAX,

Volume 15, Issue 36).

from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Results from the 2010 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables, 2011. Available online at http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k10NSDUH/tabs/Cover.pdf.

NOTE: NSDUH is representative of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 12 and older living in the U.S., which represents approximately 98% of the population. The survey excludes homeless persons who do not use shelters, military personnel on active duty, and residents of institutional group quarters, such as jails, hospitals, and residential drug treatment centers.

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