SAMHSA’s 2015 Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvania Offers Look at Substance Use, Mental Health Treatment

Earlier this year The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published the third edition of their Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvaniapart of series of reports at both the national and the state level that provides a “snapshot of behavioral health.”  The Barometer pulls data on youth and adult behavioral health markers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the Monitoring the Future survey, and services used by Medicare enrollees. This free report is a great source of data for needs assessments and grant proposals, be sure to download the national and state (of your choice) report at the SAMHSA website.

Below are data from the report on aspects of youth and adolescent behavioral health and substance use. Overall, the state percentages are comparable to national percentages, with higher proportions in reported cigarette use and binge drinking.

For Pennsylvania in 2013/2013-14:

  • approximately 84,000 adolescents (12 to 17 years old), just under 9 percent of all adolescents, used illegal drugs during the month prior.
  • 6.6 percent of adolescents used cigarettes within the last month – this is higher than the national data point  of 5.2 percent.
  • 16.5 percent of adolescents binged on alcohol within the last month – again, higher than the national percentage of 14 percent.
  • 198,088 youth (under 18 years of age) received services from the public mental health system, with 63.5 percent reporting improvement post-treatment, lower than the national data point of 69.5 percent.

 

 

 

Report Citation:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvania, 2015. HHS Publication No. SMA–16–Baro–2015–PA. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015.

 

A Breakdown of Drug and Alcohol Usage in America

In 2013, 56% of adults in America classified themselves as "current drinkers", 24.6% reported that they were "binge drinkers".
In 2013, 56% of adults in America classified themselves as “current drinkers”, 24.6% reported that they were “binge drinkers”.

Alcohol consumption statistics have received much attention of late thanks to a Washington Post Wonkblog post citing material from the book Paying the Tab by Philip J. Cook and data from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  Those interested in alcohol consumption trends by adolescents and adults might also want to peruse the findings from the  National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual source of estimates on drug and alcohol use (although some categories are defined differently than those used by the NIAAA) and mental health in the United States.

According to a brief summarizing 2013 NSDUH data from the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), last year more than half of Americans 12-years-and-over (52.2 percent) reported currently using alcohol, with approximately 23 percent classified as binge drinkers (defined as 5 or more drinks in one occasion).  Just over 6 percent self-reported as heavy drinkers – 16.2 million adults and 293,000 12-to-17 year-olds.  However, the use of alcohol within the past month and binge drinking both decreased among the 12-to-17-year-old group compared to 2012 data, from 12.9 percent to 11.6 percent and 7.2 percent to 6.2 percent, respectively.

Regarding drug use, 9.4 percent of adults used illicit drugs in 2013 with marijuana (7.6 percent), non-medical use of prescription drugs (1.7 percent)  and cocaine (0.6 percent) as the top three drugs currently used. Among adolescents, 8.8 percent reported currently using drugs. Again, marijuana (7.1 percent) and non-medical use of prescriptions (2.2 percent) were the most popular currently used illicit substances,  followed by hallucinogens (0.6) and inhalants (0.5).

Some of the reasons for not receiving drug and/or alcohol treatment by those who attempted to secure it (based on 2010-2013 data) include

  • lack of health care coverage or inability to afford the cost – 37.3 percent,
  • not ready to stop usage – 24.5 percent,
  • unsure of where to find treatment – 9 percent, and
  • health coverage that did not include rehabilitation – 8.2 percent.

The brief Substance Use and Mental Health Estimates from the 2013 National Survey in Drug Use and Health: Overview of Findings also contains data on the prevalence of mental and behavioral health issues among both adults and adolescents, including co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.

 

 

Citation: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (September 4, 2014). The NSDUH Report: Substance Use and Mental Health Estimates from the
2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Overview of Findings. Rockville, MD.

Photo Credit: M. Puzzanchera (Own Work) (CC By-NC-ND 3.0)

Adult Mental Illness Rates by State

Just over 4 percent of Pennsylvania adults reported experiencing severe mental illness in the past year, while approximately 18 percent reported any mental illness during the same time period, according to the new brief from SAMHSA, State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness for the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. The report contains data from over 92,000 adults in the United States who participated in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health in 2011 and 2012.  The rate in Pennsylvania has increased only incrementally since the 2008 and 2009 report, when 3.5 percent of adults in Pennsylvania reported a severe mental illness in the past year, while 17.7  percent reported any mental illness.

In the 2011, 2012 report, West Virginia had the highest rate of severe mental illness (5.5 percent) reported among adults, as well as the highest rate of any mental illness among adults, 21.4 percent. There does not seem to be any regional correlation to rates of mental illness, as states with high and low rates of both severe mental illness and any mental illness are located in all regions of the country.  However, these data can assist in examining connections between mental health and other health issues at the state level, such as the link between mental illness and non-response to traditional anti-smoking interventions, hopefully leading to similar innovative approaches to public policy.

 

 

 

Report Citations:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (February 28, 2014). The NSDUH Report: State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness from the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Rockville, MD.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (October 6, 2011). The NSDUH Report: State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness. Rockville, MD.

SAMHSA Report Holds Useful Data on Behavioral Health in Pennsylvania

SAMHSA's The National Behavioral Health Barometer looks at trends and snapshots of American mental health, drug and alcohol dependency and substance use.
SAMHSA’s National Behavioral Health Barometer looks at recent data on mental health, drug and alcohol dependency and substance use.

Last week the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a new report containing a wealth of data on American’s behavioral health, both overall and at the state level.  The National Behavioral Health Barometer looks at mental illness, alcohol dependency, illicit drug use, treatment rates and perceptions of the dangers of substance use. This timely trend and snapshot data – particularly those from the state reports – might be helpful for your upcoming grant writing, business planning,  or community initiative proposals.

Highlights from the national report:

  • In 2012, approximately 4 percent of adults had a severe mental illness the year prior to the survey.
  • In 2012, more females 12 to 17 years old (13.7 percent) reported a major depressive episode in the year prior than males (4.7 percent), and 37 percent of youths received treatment for depression within the year prior to being surveyed.
  • Between 2008 and 2012, cigarette use among youths (across all racial groups) declined from 9.2 to 6.6. percent.
  • In 2012, people between 18 and 25 years of age reported the highest rate of alcohol dependence/abuse (14.3 percent). The rate of alcohol dependency of those over age 12 decreased overall between 2008 (7.4 percent) and 2012 (6.8 percent).

Highlights from the Pennsylvania report:

  •  The rate of adults in Pennsylvania having a severe mental illness in 2012 was the same as the national rate. The majority of adults served in the Commonwealth’s public mental health system were unemployed (70 percent) followed by those not in the workforce (20.6 percent).  The percentages of both adults and youths reporting improvement after treatment in the public mental health system were lower than the national rate.
  • Similar to the national level data, in 2012, 8.7 percent of Pennsylvania youth ages 12 to 17 reported a past year major depressive episode.  40.4 percent received treatment for depression during that time period.
  • Although the percentage of Pennsylvania youth who smoke cigarettes declined since 2008, in 2012 it remained above the national rate –  8.8 percent compared to 7.2 percent. The mean age of first cigarette use among Pennsylvania youth was 14 years old.
  • In 2012, 37.1 percent of Pennsylvania youth did not perceive great risk  from smoking one or more packs of cigarettes daily, an increase from 2008 (34.3 percent) and above the national rate of 34.1 percent.
  • Pennsylvania’s rate of alcohol dependency/abuse and rate of illicit drug dependency/abuse among people age 12 and over remained stable between the years of 2008-2012 and were similar to the national rates.

Copies of the national publication and all state reports are available for download at the SAMHSA website.

 

Photo Credit:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: United States,2013. HHS Publication No. SMA-13-4796. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

Report Citations:   Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: United States,2013. HHS Publication No. SMA-13-4796. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvania, 2013. HHS Publication No. SMA-13-4796PA. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.