Pharmacy News

Dr Marie Sartain
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New SAMHSA data reveals mental illness and substance use levels in 2021

New data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveal how people living in America reported their experiences with mental health conditions, substance use, and the pursuit of treatment in 2021.

Among individuals ages 12 years and older, 61.2 million people used illicit drugs in 2021, most often marijuana, according to key findings from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Additionally, 9.2 million people12 years or older misused opioids in the past year, and 94% of people in that age group with a substance use disorder did not receive any treatment.

The survey also found that about 20% of adolescents in 2021 had a major depressive episode in the past year, with almost 75% reporting symptoms consistent with severe impairment. Nearly 25% of adults age 18 years and older had a mental illness in the past year in 2021, and that figure jumped to about 33% among adults of 18 to 25 years.

Some 13.5% of individuals 18 to 25 years old reported both substance use disorder and any mental illness in 2021. The report also found that 12.3 million adults had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, while 3.5 million made suicide plans and 1.7 million attempted suicide.

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