Who's Leading the Leading Health Indicators? — Substance Abuse

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your browser. Bookmark and Share
Healthypeople.gov: Leading Health Indicators Monthly Bulletin

June 2015


Although progress has been made in substantially lowering rates of substance abuse in the United States, the use of mind- and behavior-altering substances continues to take a major toll on the health of individuals, families, and communities nationwide. In 2013, an estimated 21.6 million individuals aged 12 years and over had a substance abuse disorder in the past year.1

Substance abuse among youth continues to be a public health concern. In 2014, an estimated 26.8% of 8th graders and 66.0% of 12th graders had consumed alcohol in their lifetime. In addition, 20.3% of 8th graders and 49.1% of 12th graders had ever used illicit drugs.2

Substance abuse, including illicit drug use, underage drinking, and the non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, significantly affects the health and well-being of youth and individuals of all ages.

Learn More About Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act

Health insurance plans available in the Marketplace must cover 10 categories of essential health benefits. One of these categories is mental health and substance abuse services.

These services include behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling. They also include mental and behavioral health inpatient services and substance use disorder treatment. To learn more about essential benefits related to substance abuse available through the Affordable Care Act, please visit https://www.healthcare.gov/.

Leading Health Indicators

Leading Health Indicators (LHI) are critical health issues that – if tackled appropriately – will dramatically reduce the leading causes of death and preventable illnesses. The Substance Abuse LHIs are:

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

The rate of alcohol or illicit drug use in the past 30 days among adolescents aged 12–17 years decreased by 13.6% between 2008 and 2013, from 18.4% to 15.9%. Rates were higher among adolescents aged 16–17 years (29.1%) and 14–15 years (13.9%) compared to adolescents aged 12–13 years (4.2%).

During the same time period, there was no significant change in the rate of adults aged 18 and over who engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days (27.1% in 2008 and 26.9% in 2013). In 2013, several population groups had the lowest rates of binge drinking in their demographic categories, including Asian adults, women, older adults, adults born outside of the U.S., and widowed adults.

Who’s Leading the Leading Health Indicators?

The PROSPER Partnership Model: Collaborating to Reduce Teen Substance Use

 Alcohol and other drug use among our nation’s youth remains a major public health problem. However, evidence-based prevention programs can help stop youth substance abuse before it starts. To facilitate and support the implementation of scientifically tested substance abuse prevention programs, the PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) Partnership Model builds a unique relationship among public schools, university extension systems, and prevention scientists to support community teams that implement evidence-based school and family programs. These evidence-based programs are designed to enhance skills that prevent adolescents from engaging in behaviors that lead to substance misuse and conduct problems, and to help promote positive family relationships, academic achievement, and involvement with prosocial peers, or peers who behave voluntarily in ways intended to benefit others.

The PROSPER approach focuses on small, strategic teams made up of community stakeholders who partner with local middle schools to plan and deliver the programs. Teams are responsible for implementing a universal, family-focused program with 6th-grade youth and a school-based program with 7th-grade youth. Prevention coordinators serve as coaches for the teams and link each community to the state management team, which is comprised of extension administrators and family/youth specialists, along with prevention scientists. In this way, community teams have access to the latest research and benefit from the expertise and consistent support of the university extension systems.

Read the Full Story

Leading Health Indicator Infographic

Substance Abuse

1 http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-SR200-RecoveryMonth-2014/NSDUH-SR200-RecoveryMonth-2014.htm

2 http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2014.pdf [PDF - 3.4 MB]

Find us on:    HealthyPeople 2020 Twitter     HealthyPeople LinkedIn     U.S. Department of Health and Human Services YouTube Channel

Department of Health and Human Services Logo Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Logo Healthy People is a Federal Government Web site managed by the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. – Washington, D.C. 20201