Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 13, 2014

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-47, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4805. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

  • “In 2012, an estimated 43.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had any mental illness (AMI) in the past year. This represents 18.6 percent of all adults in this country. The percentage of adults with AMI in 2012 was similar to the estimate in 2011, but it was higher than the 2008 estimate (17.7 percent).
  • Among adults aged 18 or older in 2012, 9.6 million (4.1 percent) had serious mental illness (SMI) in the past year. The percentage of adults with past year SMI in 2012 was similar to that in 2008 (3.7 percent).
  • The percentage of adults in 2012 with AMI in the past year was highest for adults aged 26 to 49 (21.2 percent), followed by those aged 18 to 25 (19.6 percent), then by those aged 50 or older (15.8 percent). Similarly, the percentage of adults with past year SMI in 2012 was highest among adults aged 26 to 49 (5.2 percent), followed by those aged 18 to 25 (4.1 percent), then by those aged 50 or older (3.0 percent).
  • Women aged 18 or older were more likely than men aged 18 or older to have past year AMI (22.0 vs. 14.9 percent) and SMI (4.9 vs. 3.2 percent) in 2012.Among the 43.7 million adults aged 18 or older in 2012 with AMI in the past year, 19.2 percent (8.4 million adults) met criteria for a substance use disorder (i.e., illicit drug or alcohol dependence or abuse). Among the 9.6 million adults with SMI in the past year, 27.3 percent also had past year substance dependence or abuse. In comparison, 6.4 percent of adults who did not have mental illness in the past year met criteria for a substance use disorder.
  • In 2012, an estimated 9.0 million adults (3.9 percent) aged 18 or older had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. The estimated number and percentage remained stable between 2008 (8.3 million persons and 3.7 percent) and 2012.
  • Among adults aged 18 or older in 2012, 2.7 million (1.1 percent) made suicide plans in the past year, and 1.3 million (0.6 percent) attempted suicide in the past year.
  • Adults aged 18 or older with a past year substance use disorder were more likely than those without dependence or abuse to have serious thoughts of suicide in the past year (12.6 vs. 3.0 percent). Adults with a substance use disorder also were more likely to make suicide plans compared with adults without dependence or abuse (3.9 vs. 0.9 percent) and were more likely to attempt suicide compared with adults without dependence or abuse (2.3 vs. 0.4 percent).
  • In 2012, 34.1 million adults (14.5 percent of the population aged 18 or older) received mental health services (i.e., treatment or counseling) during the past 12 months. The number and the percentage were higher than those in 2011 (31.6 million persons and 13.6 percent).”

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