(HealthDay News) – In its latest report, 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the teen and adult civilian population of the United States.

Jonaki Bose, from SAMHSA in Rockville, MD, and colleagues performed a survey of about 70,000 individuals, aged ≥12 years, to examine the scope and nature of substance abuse and mental health issues in the United States.

The researchers found that marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug (7.3%). The rate of past-month non-medical use of prescription drugs in adults aged 18–25 years (5.3%) was significantly lower compared with 2009 (6.4%). Among those aged ≥12 years, the overall rate for use of illicit drugs in the past month was 9.2%, similar to the rate reported in 2011. Among adolescents aged 12–17, the rates for underage drinking were lower in 2012 than in 2009 and 2002. Only 8.6% of those aged 12–17 years reported past-month tobacco use in 2012, compared with 15.2% in 2002.

“These findings show that while we have made progress in preventing some aspects of substance abuse we must redouble our efforts to reduce and eliminate all forms of it throughout our nation,” Pamela S. Hyde, JD, a SAMHSA administrator, said in a statement.

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