Drug Free Campus
Problem of Substance Abuse
Definitions of Terms:
Current illicit drug user: Someone who has used illicit drugs at least once in the last month.
Binge drinking: Five or more drinks on one occasion.
Heavy drinking: Five or more drinks on five or more occasions in the past month.
Substance abuse places a major burden on all segments of American society, including the workplace.
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Alcohol and Drug Abuse in America in 2013
Illicit Drug Use
- In 2013, an estimated 24.6 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 9.4 percent of the population aged 12 or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) used nonmedically.
- The rate of current illicit drug use among persons aged 12 or older in 2013 (9.4 percent) was similar to the rates in 2010 (8.9 percent) and 2012 (9.2 percent), but it was higher than the rates in 2002 to 2009 and in 2011 (ranging from 7.9 to 8.7 percent).
- Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug in 2013. There were 19.8 million past month users in 2013 (7.5 percent of those aged 12 or older), which was similar to the number and rate in 2012 (18.9 million or 7.3 percent). The 2013 rate was higher than the rates in 2002 to 2011 (ranging from 5.8 to 7.0 percent). Marijuana was used by 80.6 percent of current illicit drug users in 2013.
- Daily or almost daily use of marijuana (used on 20 or more days in the past month) increased from 5.1 million persons in 2005 to 2007 to 8.1 million persons in 2013.
- In 2013, there were 1.5 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older, or 0.6 percent of the population. These estimates were similar to the numbers and rates in 2009 to 2012 (ranging from 1.4 million to 1.7 million or from 0.5 to 0.7 percent), but they were lower than those in 2002 to 2007 (ranging from 2.0 million to 2.4 million or from 0.8 to 1.0 percent).
- The number of past year heroin users in 2013 (681,000) was similar to the numbers in 2009 to 2012 (ranging from 582,000 to 669,000) and was higher than the numbers in 2002 to 2005, 2007, and 2008 (ranging from 314,000 to 455,000).
- An estimated 1.3 million persons aged 12 or older in 2013 (0.5 percent) used hallucinogens in the past month. The number of users in 2013 was similar to that in 2012 (1.1 million), but it was higher than in 2011 (1.0 million).
- The percentage of persons aged 12 or older who used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically in the past month in 2013 (2.5 percent) was similar to the percentages in 2010 to 2012 (ranging from 2.4 to 2.7 percent). 2
- The number and percentage of past month methamphetamine users in 2013 (595,000 or 0.2 percent) were similar to those in 2012 (440,000 or 0.2 percent) and 2011 (439,000 or 0.2 percent), but they were higher than the estimates in 2010 (353,000 or 0.1 percent). • Among youths aged 12 to 17, the rate of current illicit drug use was lower in 2013 (8.8 percent) than in 2002 to 2007 (ranging from 9.6 to 11.6 percent) and in 2009 to 2012 (ranging from 9.5 to 10.1 percent).
- The rate of current marijuana use among youths aged 12 to 17 in 2013 (7.1 percent) was similar to the 2012 rate (7.2 percent) and the rates in 2004 to 2010 (ranging from 6.7 to 7.6 percent); however, it was lower than the rates in 2002, 2003, and 2011 (ranging from 7.9 to 8.2 percent).
- Among youths aged 12 to 17, the rate of current nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs declined from 4.0 percent in 2002 and 2003 to 2.2 percent in 2013. The rate of nonmedical pain reliever use among youths also declined from 3.2 percent in 2002 and 2003 to 1.7 percent in 2013.
- The rate of current use of illicit drugs among young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2013 (21.5 percent) was similar to the rates in 2009 to 2012 (ranging from 21.3 to 21.6 percent), which was consistent with the steady rate of current marijuana use in this age group during this time (19.1 percent in 2013 and ranging from 18.2 to 19.0 percent in 2009 to 2012).
- Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the rate of current nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs in 2013 was 4.8 percent, which was similar to the rates in 2011 (5.0 percent) and 2012 (5.3 percent), but it was lower than the rates in the years from 2002 to 2010 (ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 percent).
- The rate of current cocaine use in 2013 among young adults aged 18 to 25 was 1.1 percent, which was similar to the rates in 2009, 2011, and 2012, but it was lower than the rates from 2002 to 2008 and in 2010.
- Among adults aged 26 or older, the rate of current illicit drug use in 2013 (7.3 percent) was similar to the rate in 2012 (7.0 percent), but it was higher than the rates in 2002 to 2011 (ranging from 5.5 to 6.6 percent). This was driven by rates of current marijuana use, which also remained steady between 2013 and 2012 (5.6 and 5.3 percent, respectively). However, the rate of current marijuana use in 2013 was higher than the rates in 2002 to 2011 (ranging from 3.9 to 4.8 percent).
- Among adults aged 50 to 64, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 6.0 percent in 2013. For adults aged 50 to 54, the rate increased from 3.4 percent in 2002 to 7.9 percent in 2013. Among those aged 55 to 59, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 1.9 percent in 2002 to 5.7 percent in 2013. Among those aged 60 to 64, the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 1.1 percent in 2003 and 2004 to 3.9 percent in 2013.
- Among unemployed adults aged 18 or older in 2013, 18.2 percent were current illicit drug users, which was higher than the rates of 9.1 percent for those who were employed full time and 13.7 percent for those who were employed part time. However, most illicit drug users were employed. Of the 22.4 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2013, 15.4 million (68.9 percent) were employed either full or part time. 3
- In 2013, 9.9 million persons (3.8 percent of those aged 12 or older) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year, which was similar to the rate in 2012 (3.9 percent). In 2013, the rate was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (10.6 percent), although this rate was lower than the rate in 2012 for this age group (11.9 percent).
- Among persons aged 12 or older in 2012-2013 who used pain relievers nonmedically in the past 12 months, 53.0 percent got the drug they used most recently from a friend or relative for free, and 10.6 percent bought the drug from a friend or relative. Another 21.2 percent reported that they got the drug through a prescription from one doctor. An annual average of 4.3 percent got pain relievers from a drug dealer or other stranger, and 0.1 percent bought them on the Internet.
- Slightly more than half (52.2 percent) of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2013 survey, which was similar to the rate in 2012 (52.1 percent). This translates to an estimated 136.9 million current drinkers in 2013.
- In 2013, nearly one quarter (22.9 percent) of persons aged 12 or older were binge alcohol users in the past 30 days. This translates to about 60.1 million people. The rate in 2013 was similar to the estimate in 2012 (23.0 percent). Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the 30 days prior to the survey.
- In 2013, heavy drinking was reported by 6.3 percent of the population aged 12 or older, or 16.5 million people. This rate was similar to the rate of heavy drinking in 2012 (6.5 percent). Heavy drinking is defined as binge drinking on at least 5 days in the past 30 days.
- Among young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2013, the rate of binge drinking was 37.9 percent, and the rate of heavy drinking was 11.3 percent. These rates were lower than the corresponding rates in 2012 (39.5 and 12.7 percent, respectively).
- The rate of current alcohol use among youths aged 12 to 17 was 11.6 percent in 2013. Youth binge and heavy drinking rates in 2013 were 6.2 and 1.2 percent, respectively. The rates for current and binge alcohol use were lower than those reported in 2012 (12.9 and 7.2 percent, respectively).
- In 2013, an estimated 10.9 percent of persons aged 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year. This percentage was lower than in 2002 (14.2 percent), but it was similar to the rate in 2012 (11.2 percent). The rate was highest among persons aged 21 to 25 and persons aged 26 to 29 (19.7 and 20.7 percent, respectively). Among persons aged 12 to 20 and those aged 21 to 25, the rates of driving under the influence of alcohol were lower in 2013 (4.7 and 19.7 percent, respectively) than in 2012 (5.7 and 21.9 percent, respectively).
- An estimated 8.7 million underage persons (aged 12 to 20) were current drinkers in 2013, including 5.4 million binge drinkers and 1.4 million heavy drinkers. Corresponding percentages of underage persons in 2013 were 22.7 percent for current alcohol use, 14.2 percent for binge alcohol use, and 3.7 percent for heavy use. All of these percentages were lower than those in 2012. 4
- Past month, binge, and heavy drinking rates among underage persons declined between 2002 and 2013. Past month alcohol use declined from 28.8 to 22.7 percent, binge drinking declined from 19.3 to 14.2 percent, and heavy drinking declined from 6.2 to 3.7 percent.
- In 2013, 52.2 percent of current underage drinkers reported that their last use of alcohol occurred in someone else's home, and 34.2 percent reported that it had occurred in their own home. Most current drinkers aged 12 to 20 (77.6 percent) were with two or more other people the last time they drank alcohol. The rate of drinking alone the last time that underage persons drank alcohol was highest among youths aged 12 to 14 (14.5 percent).
- Among current underage drinkers, 28.7 percent paid for the alcohol the last time they drank, including 7.8 percent who purchased the alcohol themselves and 20.5 percent who gave money to someone else to purchase it. Among those who did not pay for the alcohol they last drank, 36.6 percent got it from an unrelated person aged 21 or older; 24.5 percent got it from a parent, guardian, or other adult family member; and 16.4 percent got it from another person younger than 21 years old.
- In 2013, underage current drinkers were more likely than current alcohol users aged 21 or older to use illicit drugs within 2 hours of alcohol use on their last reported drinking occasion (19.9 vs. 5.7 percent, respectively). The most commonly reported illicit drug used by underage drinkers in combination with alcohol was marijuana.
Highlights from earlier years are located on the Drug Free Campus Archive.
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East Tennessee State University Policy Statement on Drug Free Campus
It is the policy of this university that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, use of alcohol and illicit drugs on the ETSU campus in the workplace (on or off campus), on property owned or controlled by ETSU, or as part of any activity of ETSU is strictly prohibited. All employees and students are subject to applicable federal, state and local laws related to this matter. Additionally, any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action.
For complete policy information, see ETSU's Policy Statement on Drug Free Campus, PPP-26
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Health Risks Associated With the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol
There are many health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol including organic damage; impairment of brain activity, digestion, and blood circulation; impairment of physiological processes and mental functioning; and, physical and psychological dependence. Such use during pregnancy may cause spontaneous abortion, various birth defects or fetal alcohol syndrome. Additionally, the illicit use of drugs increases the risk of contracting hepatitis, AIDS and other infections. If used excessively, the use of alcohol or drugs singularly or in certain combinations may cause death.
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(ETSU is not responsible for off-campus site content)
US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Partnership for a Drug Free America
Available Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Treatment, Rehabilitation Programs, and Employee Assistance Programs
(ETSU is not responsible for off-campus site content)
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