Some statistics about illegal drug use in the United States, taken from the most recent available federal data:
- Drug abuse — mostly of heroin, cocaine and marijuana — is responsible for more than 1 million admissions annually to medical facilities for treatment.
- The percentage of people reporting illegal drug use within the past 30 days was 9.3 percent in the West, 7.9 percent in the Midwest, 7.8 percent in the Northeast and 7.4 percent in the South.
- Of 14.2 million arrests in 2007, drug abuse violations accounted for 13 percent — more than 1.8 million. Marijuana busts mostly for possession rather than sale — accounted for nearly half the drug arrests.
- Drug offenders make up about 20 percent of the state prison population and more than half the federal prison population. In Chicago last year, 87 percent of men arrested and booked by police tested positive for at least one illicit drug.
- Rhode Island had the highest rate of people 12 and older who had used illegal drugs in the past month — 11.2 percent. North Dakota had the lowest rate, 5.7 percent. Vermont has the highest rate of marijuana usage; Utah the lowest.
- Among 8th graders, 28 percent have tried an illicit drug — if inhalants are included — and 49 percent of 12th graders have done so.
- About 15 percent of Americans have tried cocaine by age 30, and 8 percent have tried it by their senior year of high school.
- Five percent of 12th graders smoke marijuana daily.
- Nearly 51 percent of males 12 and older have tried illegal drugs at some point, compared with 42 percent of females.
Sources include the 2007 National Survey on Drug Usage and Health and the Monitoring The Future survey conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
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