Age Group Differences in Progress toward Reducing Substance Use Disorders, 2015-2018

Age Group Differences in Progress toward Reducing Substance Use Disorders, 2015-2018

Published: Mar 30, 2021
Publisher: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy
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Key Findings
  • Between 2015 and 2018 the percentage of adults ages 26 or older with a marijuana use disorder increased 13% representing an increase from 1.56 to 1.91 million persons
  • Whereas opioid use disorders among young adults have declined substantially between 2015 and 2018, the percentage of adults ages 26 or older with such disorders did not changed significantly despite the fact that this age group represents the vast majority of persons with these disorders (79 percent).
  • From 2016 to 2018, there was a 33% increase in the percentage of adults ages 26 or older with a methamphetamine use disorder representing an increase from 539 to 899 thousand persons.

From 2015 to 2018, the United States made progress reducing substance use disorders (SUDs) among adolescents ages 12-17 and young adults ages 18-25; however, rates of these disorders among adults ages 26 or older, have remained constant or increased. This brief explores the differences in trends across these age groups.

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