Misuse of Prescription Drugs Research Report
What is the scope of prescription drug misuse in the United States?

All data refer to the United States population.

How many people misuse prescription drugs?

Among people aged 12 or older in 2020:

  • 5.8% (or about 16.1 million people) reported misusing any prescription psychotherapeutic drug in the past 12 months.
  • 1.8% (or about 5.1 million people) reported misusing prescription stimulants in the past 12 months.
  • 2.2% (or about 6.2 million people) reported misusing prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in the past 12 months.
  • 1.7% (or about 4.8 million people) reported misusing benzodiazepines in the past 12 months.
  • 3.3% (or about 9.3 million people) reported misusing prescription pain relievers in the past 12 months.

Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

How many young students misuse prescription drugs?

Among young people in 2021:

  • An estimated 4.4% of 12th graders reported misusing any prescription drug in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 3.0% of 8th graders, 2.7% of 10th graders, and 2.3% of 12th graders reported misusing amphetamines in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 0.6% of 8th graders, 0.3% of 10th graders, and 0.5% of 12th graders reported misusing Ritalin in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 1.8% of 8th graders, 1.6% of 10th graders, and 1.8% of 12th graders reported misusing Adderall in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 1.8% of 12th graders reported misusing sedatives (barbiturates) in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 1.1% of 8th graders, 1.3% of 10th graders, and 1.2% of 12th graders reported misusing tranquilizers in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 1.0% of 12th graders reported misusing narcotics other than heroin in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 0.8% of 8th graders, 0.9% of 10th graders, and 0.9% of 12th graders reported misusing OxyContin in the past 12 months.
  • An estimated 0.6% of 8th graders, 0.5% of 10th graders, and 0.9% of 12th graders reported misusing Vicodin in the past 12 months.

Source: 2021 Monitoring the Future Survey

How many people have a prescription stimulant use disorder

How many people have a prescription tranquilizer or sedative use disorder?

  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, an estimated 0.4% (or about 1.2 million people) had a prescription tranquilizer or sedative use disorder in the past 12 months.
    Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

How many people have a prescription opioid use disorder?

How many people die from prescription opioids?

How many people die from benzodiazepines?

How many people die from antidepressants?