SAMHSA’s 2021 Annual Drug Use and Health Survey Results

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released the findings of its annual drug use and health survey, which outlined Americans’ experience in 2021 as it relates to mental health conditions, substance use and pursuit of treatment.

Although the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) has been in place since 1971, SAMHSA notes that results from the 2021 survey should not be compared directly to previous years’ results, since the pandemic introduced questionnaire changes and methodological changes to the data collection process.

Key findings from the 2021 survey include:

  • More than 1 in 5 Americans age 12 or older (21.9% of the population to be exact) used illicit drugs in 2021, with marijuana being the most commonly used drug.
  • 16.5 percent of Americans 12 or older met the DSM-5’s criteria for having a substance use disorder (46.3 million people).
  • Overall, nearly 1 in 3 American adults had either a substance use disorder or any mental illness in 2021. 
    • This includes 46 percent of young adults 18-25 who reported having either a substance use disorder or any mental illness that year.
    • 13.5% of these young adults 18-25 experienced both substance use disorder and any mental illness in 2021.


The U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) continues addressing the nation’s mental health and substance use issues as part of the overall health care system, which includes last year’s release of its Roadmap for Behavioral Health Integration. Cordant is proud to provide innovative tools and services to help treatment providers support patients in their whole person behavioral health care journeys. 



SAMHSA Announces National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Results Detailing Mental Illness and Substance Use Levels in 2021