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Non-Medical Drug Use - Past Year
Non-Medical Drug Use - Past Year in Arizona
Arizona

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Arizona Value:

15.9%

Percentage of adults who reported using prescription drugs non-medically (including pain relievers, stimulants and sedatives) or illicit drugs (excluding cannabis) in the last 12 months

Arizona Rank:

37

Non-Medical Drug Use - Past Year in depth:

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Non-Medical Drug Use - Past Year by State

Percentage of adults who reported using prescription drugs non-medically (including pain relievers, stimulants and sedatives) or illicit drugs (excluding cannabis) in the last 12 months




Non-Medical Drug Use - Past Year Trends

Percentage of adults who reported using prescription drugs non-medically (including pain relievers, stimulants and sedatives) or illicit drugs (excluding cannabis) in the last 12 months

Trend: Non-Medical Drug Use - Past Year in Arizona, United States, 2023 Annual Report

Percentage of adults who reported using prescription drugs non-medically (including pain relievers, stimulants and sedatives) or illicit drugs (excluding cannabis) in the last 12 months

Arizona
United States
Source:

 Denver Health and Hospital Authority, RADARS® System Survey of Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs Program

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About Non-Medical Drug Use - Past Year

US Value: 15.9%

Top State(s): North Dakota: 7.5%

Bottom State(s): West Virginia: 21.2%

Definition: Percentage of adults who reported using prescription drugs non-medically (including pain relievers, stimulants and sedatives) or illicit drugs (excluding cannabis) in the last 12 months

Data Source and Years: Denver Health and Hospital Authority, RADARS® System Survey of Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs Program, 2023

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of Denver Health and Hospital Authority, RADARS® System Survey of Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs Program, United Health Foundation, AmericasHealthRankings.org, accessed 2023.

Using illicit drugs, including prescription drugs without a doctor's guidance, can be dangerous and have long-lasting consequences. The effects of drug use depend on the drug. Common negative health outcomes include asthma, aggression, brain damage, sleep issues and an increased risk of contracting HIV. Additionally, substance abuse can lead to addiction — also called substance use disorder — which often requires lifelong management.

In 2021, there were more than 100,000 drug-related deaths in the United States, and more than 23 million people in the U.S. ages 12 and older reported using an illicit drug (not including marijuana) in the past year. Between 2018-2019 and 2020-2021, emergency room visits for substance use disorder increased 42% among adults ages 18-34, and 38% among adults over 35. In 2022, there were an estimated 7.7 million drug-related emergency department visits. 

The health consequences of using illicit or prescription drugs without a doctor's guidance are costly to individuals and society. In 2007, it was estimated that illicit drug use cost the U.S. $193 billion. The opioid epidemic alone cost the U.S. nearly $1.5 trillion in 2020.

According to America’s Health Rankings data, the prevalence of past-year non-medical drug use is higher among:

  • Men compared with women. 
  • Adults who identify as other race compared with all other racial/ethnic groups. Asian and Black adults have the lowest rates of non-medical drug use.
  • Adults with some post-high school education and college graduates compared with those with less education. 
  • Adults with an annual household income less than $25,000 compared with those with higher annual incomes.

Non-medical drug use can be prevented and treated. The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists 16 principles for choosing and implementing substance abuse prevention programs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has evidence-based programs and resources for parents, schools and primary care doctors, many of them focusing on children and adolescents.

When prevention is no longer an option, there are research-based treatment programs. Effective treatment approaches the individual as a whole person, addressing environmental factors, behaviors and other aspects of health and is often a lifelong process. SAMHSA’s treatment locator can help individuals find state-licensed providers specializing in substance use disorders.

Healthy People 2030 has several drug-related objectives, including:

  • Reducing the proportion of adolescents who used any illicit drug in the past 30 days.
  • Reducing the proportion of adults who used any illicit drug in the past 30 days.

O’Jiaku-Okorie, Adaeze, Xianghua Yin, and Christine Lucas. “QuickStats: Rate of Emergency Department Visits for Substance Use Disorders Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years, by Age Group — National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, United States, 2018–2019 and 2020–2021.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 72, no. 39 (September 29, 2023): 1073. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7239a6.

Robertson, Elizabeth B., Susan L. David, and Suman A. Rao. “Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders.” 2nd ed. 1997. Reprint, Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2003. https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/preventingdruguse_2.pdf.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN): Findings from Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits, 2022.” Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2023. https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/pep23-07-03-001.pdf.

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