On November 27, 2012, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a press release announcing the availability of the 2011 results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).  Since 1971, the federal government has been conducting yearly nationwide face-to-face interviews with over 65,000 randomly selected individuals aged 12 or older at the respondent’s residence.

The 2011 results indicate that an estimated 45.6 million adults aged 18 or older (or 19.6% of all adults in the US) experienced any mental illness (AMI) in the past year.  Serious mental illness (SMI) affected about 11.5 million or 5.0% of adults in the past year.  Women were more likely than men to experience AMI (23.0% vs. 15.9%) and SMI (6.4% vs. 3.4%) in 2011.  Of the 45.6 million adults that experienced an AMI in 2011, 17.4 million or 38.2% received mental health services.  Of the 11.5 million that had SMI last year, 6.9 million or 59.6% received mental health services.

Of the 45.6 million adults, 8.0 million, or 17.5%, met criteria for a substance use disorder (SUD).  Of the 11.5 million adults with SMI last year, 22.6% had a SUD.  This contrasts with the 10.9 million, or 5.8% of adults, who met criteria for a SUD but did not experience AMI last year.

For youths, between the ages of 12 and 17, depression was the most common reason for them receiving specialty mental health services in 2011.  About 2.0 million youths or 8.2% had a major depressive episode (MDE), with females more likely than males to experience a MDE (12.1% vs. 4.5%).  For youths who had a MDE, 36.0% used illicit drugs compared to 17.4% of youths who did not have past year MDE.  Youths with MDE were also more likely than those without MDE to have a SUD in 2011 (18.2% vs. 5.8%).

The data and documentation files for the 2011 NSDUH are now available through a download , online analysis, and quick tables.