Illicit Drugs

Illicit drug use in the United States is on the rise.

In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug. (NIDA)

Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013. (CDC)

The heroin epidemic has touched Manatee County in a big way. In 2015 there were 69 deaths from the illicit drug fentanyl and 34 from heroin. Of those, 18 were heroin combined with fentanyl for a total of 85 deaths. (Medical Examiner’s Office)

Most people use drugs for the first time when they are teenagers. There were just over 2.8 million new users of illicit drugs in 2013, or about 7,800 new users per day. Over half (54.1 percent) were under 18 years of age. (NIDA)

More than half of new illicit drug users begin with marijuana. Next most common are prescription pain relievers, followed by inhalants (which is most common among younger teens). (NIDA)


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