National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) - VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP)
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VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP)


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National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

Formerly titled National Household Survey on Drug Abuse 

Data Sharing Statement 

What's available?

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

Available Documentation 

  • Data dictionary / Codebook (PDF)
  • Questionnaire and screening criteria (PDF)
  • SAS, SPSS, STATA, ASCII data file formats
  • SDA, P-DAS, R-DAS for online only (pending)
  • Summary statistics for past years

Dates Data are Available

Currently available

Access Criteria 

De-identified, public use data available by year for download in a variety of formats from the NSDUH website. Restricted use data isn't currently available, but will be for online only use for a limited set of analyses.

Study Characteristics


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

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 Source

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ)


Submit questions through the SAMHDA online technical assistance form 

Selected Publication

Odani S, Agaku IT, Graffunder CM, et al. 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, et al. Military service and crime: new evidence. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. May 2017; 52(5):605-615. 

Golub A, Vazan P, Bennett AS, et al. 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, et al. 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

NSDUH website