New Survey Data: More Pot Smoking, Less Heroin and Cocaine Use



Yesterday the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released survey data that cast doubt on popular wisdom about certain drug trends. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), marijuana consumption continued to rise in the general population last year but leveled off among teenagers, who supposedly are more inclined to smoke pot nowadays because looser laws have made it more appealing. Heroin use, which according to numerous press reports constitutes an "epidemic," fell by about 14 percent (as measured by the percentage of respondents who reported past-month use). Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers also was down. And cocaine consumption continued to decline, despite the malign influence of the nicotine in all those e-cigarettes the kids are sucking on these days.

The numbers released yesterday are a subset of the 2013 NSDUH results. SAMHSA says "the complete NSDUH report should be available in the next few weeks."