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An Introduction to Substance Use Disorders for Dental Professionals

Course Number: 545

Illegal Drug Use & Addiction

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) obtains information on illicit drug use by surveying the following categories: marijuana/hashish, cocaine/crack, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and methamphetamine. Several drugs are grouped under the hallucinogens category including lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), phencyclidine (PCP), peyote, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, and Ecstasy (MDMA). Inhalants include a variety of substances such as nitrous oxide, amyl nitrite, cleaning fluids, gasoline, spray paint, other aerosol sprays, and glue.

Estimates of illicit drug use reported by the NSDUH reflect the use of any of the drug categories listed above. In 2022, an estimated 70.3 million Americans aged 12 or older reported using illicit drug during the past year. This estimate represents 24.9% of the population aged 12 or older (Figure 13).61

Bar graph of past-month illicit drug use 2013.

Figure 13. Past Year Illicit Drug Use among People Aged 12 or Older: 2022.

Image source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2022.61