The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released its annual report on illicit drug usage today, showing a sharp decline in methamphetamine use, but an upturn in marijuana consumption.
The report, which analyzes survey data collected last year, showed an uptick in the percentage of marijuana users. In fact, the percentage of Americans who admitted to regular illicit drug use increased for most age groups from 2009 (see graph below).
According to USA Today, marijuana is also the most widely used illicit drug, with 6.9 percent of the population admitting to regular use. The reason for its increased prevalence may also be attributed to the increasing number of states that have approved its consumption for medical purposes.
Meth, on the other hand, has taken a sharp downturn in usage.
From USA Today:
Meanwhile, methamphetamine use, which raced across the USA for a decade, has declined sharply. The number of past-month users declined from 731,000 in 2006 to 353,000 in 2010.
The data in the graphs below are estimates based upon the percentages recorded in the survey.
Past Month Illicit Drug Use among Persons Aged 12 or Older (via SAMHSA):
Past Month Illicit Drug Use among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age (via SAMHSA):