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National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

Formerly: National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA)

Investigator Access 

What's Available

Research data: De-identified public-use and restricted-use data files of individual-level national survey data.

Available Documentation 

Dates Data are Available

Currently available

Access Criteria 

Access for public-use of de-identified data is available to download in a variety of formats from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) website, by year.

Restricted-use data isn't currently available, but will eventually be available for online-only use for a limited set of analyses.

Study Characteristics


The NSDUH series, formerly titled National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), is a primary source of statistical and trend information on substance use and mental illness among the U.S. population of noninstitutionalized civilians aged 12 or older.

Era of Service



Non-institutionalized US civilians aged 12 years and older

Exclusion: No fixed household address, active-duty military personnel, residents of institutional group quarters

Study Design

Cross-sectional survey

Time Period

Conducted annually since 1990 and every 2-3 years from 1979 to 1990




See response rate

Response Rate


Year  N Screening Interview Veteran N
2004  67,760 91% 77% 2,519
2005  68,308 91% 76% 2,439
2006  67,802 91% 74% 2,536
2007 67,802  90% 74% 2,340
2008  68,736  89% 74% 2,244
2009  68,700 88% 76% 2,223
2010  68,487  89% 75% 2,207
2011  70,109  87% 74% 2,306
2012 68,309 86% 73% 2,234
2013 67,838 84% 72% 2,069
2014 67,901 82% 71% 2,739
2015 68,073 82% 71% 2,045
2016 67,942 82% 71% 2,624
2017 68,032 75% 67% N/A
2018 67,791 73% 67% N/A
2019 67,625 71% 65% N/A

Recruitment Method

Introductory letters are sent to sampled addresses. Field interviewer uses household members and their basic demographic information to select 0 - 2 persons from the household to include in the sample.



Data Collected

  • Demographics
  • Substance use such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, sedatives, and injection drugs
  • Perceived risks of substance use, substance dependence or abuse
  • Arrests
  • Treatment for substance use problems
  • Pregnancy and health care issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Immigration
  • Current school enrollment
  • Employment and workplace issues, health insurance coverage, and income

Data Collection Methods

In-person interviews at participant’s home, with use of computer-assisted interviewing (CAI), computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) and audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI).

Funding Sources

  • Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)





Selected Publications

Odani S, Agaku IT, Graffunder CM, Tynan MA, Armour BS. Tobacco Product Use Among Military Veterans – United States, 2010-2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. Jan 2018; 12;67(1):7-12. 

Snowden DL, Oh S, Salas-Wright CP, Vaughn MG, King E. Military service and crime: new evidence. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. May 2017; 52(5):605-615. 

Golub A, Vazan P, Bennett AS, Liberty HJ. Unmet need for treatment of substance abuse disorders and serious psychological distress among veterans: a nationwide analysis using the NSDUH. Mil Med. Jan 2013; 178(1):107-14.

White R, Barber C, Azrael D, Mukamal KJ, Miller M. History of military service and the risk of suicidal ideation: findings from the 2008 national survey on drug use and health. Suicide Life Threat Behav. Oct 2011; 41(5)554-61.

More Information

Study website