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2014 Toolkit


Common Mental Disorders and Misused Substances

Download the PDF version of “Common Mental Disorders and Misused Substances” (412 KB).

Introduction…

The impact of mental and substance use disorders spans individuals, families, and communities. Learning about some of the most common mental disorders and misused substances can help people recognize the signs of behavioral health conditions and ultimately seek help. This aligns with the aim of National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), an initiative that raises awareness about the many resources available to help prevent these conditions and encourage treatment and recovery. Recovery Month, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (http://www.samhsa.gov) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (http://hhs.gov), is now celebrating its 25th anniversary and educates individuals and communities about mental and substance use disorders. This initiative celebrates people in recovery, as well as those working in the behavioral health field. It promotes the message that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from these conditions.

In 2012, an estimated 23.1 million Americans aged 12 or older (8.9 percent) needed treatment* for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem.1 Of these individuals, only 2.5 million (1.0 percent of persons aged 12 or older and 10.8 percent of those who needed treatment) received treatment at a specialty facility.,2 Additionally, among 43.7 million (18.6 percent) Americans aged 18 and older who experienced any mental illness in 2012, 34.1 million adults (14.5 percent of the population aged 18 or older and 78.0 percent of those who experienced any mental illness) received mental health services during the past 12 months.3 Included in this document are other key statistics about common mental illnesses and misused substances. Also included are alternative names for each disorder or substance; signs, symptoms, and adverse health effects; prevalence; and average age of onset (or age of first-time use of a substance). Information in the following tables was collected from SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, National Comorbidity Survey – Replication Survey (NCS-R), National Comorbidity Survey – Adolescent (NCS-A), and the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) Survey of Mental Disorders, as well as reports and data released by The Partnership at DrugFree.Org, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

* An individual is defined as needing treatment for an alcohol or drug use problem if he or she met the DSM-IV (APA, 1994) diagnostic criteria for alcohol or illicit drug dependence or abuse in the past 12 months or if he or she received specialty treatment for alcohol use or illicit drug use in the past 12 months (SAMHSA, 2013).

Specialty treatment is defined as treatment received at any of the following types of facilities: hospitals (inpatient only), drug or alcohol rehabilitation facilities (inpatient or outpatient), or mental health centers (SAMHSA, 2013).

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The following chart includes information on common mental disorders:

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The following chart includes information on commonly misused substances:

Mental Disorder

Signs & Symptoms4,5,6

Estimate Descriptions

Surveillance System

Estimate

Anxiety Disorders

Agoraphobia

Intense fear and anxiety of any place or situation where escape might be difficult; avoidance of being alone outside of the home; fear of traveling in a car, bus, or airplane, or of being in a crowded area

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

2.4 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

1.4 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

20 years old

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

An overwhelming sense of worry and tension; irritability; physical symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, trouble swallowing, trembling, twitching, sweating, lightheadedness, nausea, and hot flashes

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

1.0 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

5.7 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

31 years old

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Persistent and unwelcome anxious thoughts or “obsessions,” often accompanied by rituals that are performed to try to prevent or get rid of them, called “compulsions”

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

1.6 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

19 years old

Panic Disorder

Feelings of sudden terror that often occur with a pounding heart, sweating, nausea, chest pain, faintness, or dizziness; an avoidance of places or situations where panic attacks have occurred

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

2.3 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

4.7 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

24 years old

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Relived trauma after experiencing a terrifying event, through nightmares or disturbing thoughts throughout the day; feelings of detachment, numbness, irritability, or aggressiveness

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

4.0 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

6.8 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

23 years old

Social Phobia

Intense feelings of anxiety and dread about social situations; a persistent fear of being watched and judged by others and being humiliated or embarrassed by the person’s own actions; physical symptoms, such as blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

5.5 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

12.1 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

13 years old

Specific Phobia

Marked and persistent fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation, such as a fear of heights, spiders, or flying

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

15.1 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

12.5 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

7 years old

Mood Disorders

Bipolar Disorder

Recurrent episodes of highs (mania) and lows (depression) in mood; changes in energy and behavior; extreme irritable or elevated mood; an inflated sense of self-importance; risky behaviors; distractibility; increased energy; and a decreased need for sleep

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

2.6 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

3.9 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

25 years old

Major Depressive Disorder

A pervading sense of sadness and/or loss of interest or pleasure in most activities that interferes with the ability to work, study, sleep, and eat; negative impact on a person’s thoughts, sense of self-worth, energy, and concentration

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

11.2 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

16.5 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

32 years old

Other Mental Disorders

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Inattention or difficulty staying focused; hyperactivity or constantly being in motion or talking; impulsivity, meaning often not thinking before acting

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Youth
(13 to 18 Years Old)

NCS-A

9.0 percent of youth

Lifetime Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

NCS-R

8.1 percent of adults

Average Age of Onset

NCS-R

7 years old

Personality Disorder

Difficulties dealing with other people and participating in social activities; inflexibility, rigidity, and inability to respond to change; deeply ingrained, inflexible patterns of relating, perceiving, and thinking that cause distress or impaired functioning

12-month Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

ECA

9.1 percent of adults

Schizophrenia

Hearing voices or believing that others are trying to control or harm the person; hallucinations and disorganized speech and behavior, causing individuals to feel frightened, anxious, and confused

12-month Prevalence in the United States Among Adults

ECA

1.1 percent of adults

Substance: Examples of Other Names for Substances7,8,9 Negative Immediate Intoxication Effects, Negative Health Effects10,11 Estimate Description Estimate12
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Inhalants

Alcohol: Booze, beer,
wine, liquor

Immediate Effects: Dizziness; talkativeness; slurred speech; disturbed sleep; nausea; vomiting; impaired judgment and coordination; increased aggression

Health Effects: Brain and liver damage; depression; liver and heart disease; hypertension; fetal damage (in pregnant women)

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

52.1 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

135.5 million

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

12.9 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

32.2 million

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

17.4 years

Gases, Nitrites, and Aerosols (Inhalants): Ether, chloroform, nitrous oxide, isobutyl, isoamyl, poppers, snappers, whippets, laughing gas

Immediate Effects: Increased stimulation; loss of inhibition; headache; nausea; vomiting; slurred speech; loss of motor coordination; wheezing; cramps; muscle weakness

Health Effects: Memory impairment; damage to cardiovascular and nervous systems; unconsciousness

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

0.2 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

500,000

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

0.8 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

1.88 million

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

16.9 years

Tobacco Products: Cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, snuff, spit tobacco, chew

Immediate Effects: Increased blood pressure and heart rate

Health Effects: Chronic lung disease; coronary heart disease; stroke; cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, mouth, and bladder; poor pregnancy outcomes

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

26.7 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

69.5 million

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

8.6 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

21.5 million

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

17.4 years

Illicit Drugs

Cocaine: Blow, bump, C, candy, Charlie, coke, crack, flake, rock, snow, toot, white lady

Immediate Effects: Increased alertness, attention, and energy; dilated pupils; increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; insomnia; loss of appetite; feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety

Health Effects: Weight loss; cardiovascular complications; stroke; seizures

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

0.6 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

1.6 million

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

0.1 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

300,000

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

20.0 years

Ecstasy (a type of hallucinogen): Adam, E, eve, decadence, M&M, roll, X, XTC

Immediate Effects: Involuntary tooth clenching; a loss of inhibitions; transfixion on sights and sounds; nausea; blurred vision; chills; sweating; increased heart rate and blood pressure; cardiovascular failure

Health Effects: Muscle cramping/ sleep disturbances; depression; impaired memory; kidney, liver, and cardiovascular failure; anxiety

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

0.2 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

628,000

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

Not available

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

Not available

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

20.3 years

Hallucinogens: Acid, boomers, doses, hits, LSD, microdot, peyote, shrooms, sugar cubes, tabs, trips

Immediate Effects: Dilated pupils; higher body temperature; increased heart rate and blood pressure; sweating; loss of appetite; sleeplessness; dry mouth; tremors

Health Effects: Disturbing flashbacks that may occur within a few days or more than a year after use

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

0.4 percent (includes ecstasy, LSD, and PCP data)

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

1.1 million people (includes ecstasy, LSD, and PCP data)

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

0.6 percent (all hallucinogens); 0.1 percent (LSD)

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

1.6 million

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

19.0 years (LSD data)

Heroin: Big H, blacktar, brown sugar, dope, horse, junk, muc, skag, smack, white horse

Immediate Effects: Alternately wakeful and drowsy states; flushing of the skin; dry mouth; heavy extremities; slurred speech; constricted pupils; droopy eyelids; vomiting; constipation

Health Effects: Collapsed veins; infection of the heart lining and valves; abscesses; cellulitis; liver disease; pneumonia; clogged blood vessels; respiratory complications

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged
12 and older

0.1 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

335,000 people

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

Not available

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

Not available

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

23.0 years

Marijuana: Blunt, dope, ganja, grass, herb, joint, bud, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, green, trees, smoke, skunk, weed

Immediate Effects: Distorted perception; trouble with thinking and problem solving; loss of motor coordination; increased heart rate

Health Effects: Respiratory infection; impaired memory; anxiety, exposure to cancer-causing compounds

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

7.3 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

18.9 million

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

7.2 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

1.8 million

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

17.9 years

Methamphetamine: Chalk, crank, crystal, ice, meth, speed, white cross

Immediate Effects: State of high agitation; insomnia; decreased appetite; irritability; aggression; anxiety; nervousness; convulsions

Health Effects: Paranoia; hallucination; repetitive behavior; delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin; psychosis; severe dental problems; heart attack

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

0.2 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

440,000

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

Not available

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

Not available

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

19.7 years

Prescription Drugs

Pain Relievers: Vike (Vicodin®), oxy, O.C. (Oxycontin®), M (roxanol), school-boy (empirin with codeine), China white, dance fever (Actiq®)

Immediate Effects: Pain relief; euphoria; drowsiness; respiratory depression and arrest; nausea; confusion; constipation; sedation; unconsciousness; restlessness

Health Effects: Muscle and bone pain; drowsiness; seizure; coma; respiratory depression; decreased heart rate

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged
12 and older

1.9 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

4.9 million

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

1.9 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

4.9 percent

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

22.3 years

Psychotherapeutics: Prozac®, Zoloft®

Immediate Effects: Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolism; feelings of exhilaration and energy; increased mental alertness; rapid or irregular heartbeat; reduced appetite

Health Effects: Heart failure; weight loss; tremors and muscle twitching; fevers, convulsions, and headaches; irregular heartbeat and respirations; anxiety; restlessness; paranoia; hallucinations; delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged
12 and older

2.6 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

6.8 million

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

2.8 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

6.9 percent

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

22.9 years

Sedatives: Haldol®, Thorazine®, Navane®, Prolixin®, Mellaril®, Trilafon®

Immediate Effects: Slurred speech; shallow breathing; sluggishness; fatigue; disorientation and lack of coordination; dilated pupils; reduced anxiety; lowered inhibitions

Health Effects: Seizures; impaired memory, judgment, and coordination; irritability; paranoid and suicidal thoughts; sleep problems

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged
12 and older

0.1 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

270,000 people

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

Not available

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

Not available

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

26.2 years

Stimulants: Adderall®, Ritalin®, Concerta®

Immediate Effects: Increased blood pressure and heart rate; constricted blood vessels; increased breathing; cardiovascular failure; lethal seizures

Health Effects: Increased hostility or paranoia; dangerously high body temperatures; irregular heartbeat; cardiovascular failure; lethal seizures

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

0.5 percent (includes Methampheta-mine)

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

1.2 million (includes Methampheta-mine)

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

Not available

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

Not available

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

22.1 years

Tranquilizers: Benzos (Mebaral®, Ativan®, Xanax®, Valium®, Nembutal®, Librium®)

Immediate Effects: Slurred speech, shallow breathing; sluggishness, fatigue; disorientation and lack of coordination; dilated pupils; reduced anxiety; lowered inhibitions

Health Effects: Seizures; impaired memory, judgment, and coordination; irritability; paranoid and suicidal thoughts; sleep problems

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among People Aged 12 and older

0.8 percent

Past Month Use: Number of People Aged 12 or Older

2.1 million

Past Month Use: Prevalence Rate Among Youths (12-17)

Not available

Past Month Use: Number of People (Aged 12 to 17)

Not available

Average Age of First Use Among People Aged 12 to 49

23.6 years

Inclusion of websites and resources in this document and on the Recovery Month website does not constitute official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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SOURCES

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.
  3. 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.
  4. The National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml.
  5. SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health (ADS Center). (n.d.). Facts About Common Mental Illnesses. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/publications/thefacts.aspx.
  6. Mental Health America. (n.d.). Personality Disorders. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/personality-disorders.
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). NIDA: Commonly Abused Drugs Chart. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://www.nida.nih.gov/drugpages/drugsofabuse.html.
  8. The Partnership at DrugFree.org. (n.d.). Drug Guide. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://www.drugfree.org/drug-guide.
  9. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). NIDA: Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs Chart. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/commonly-abused-prescription-drugs-chart.
  10. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). NIDA: Commonly Abused Drugs Chart. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://www.nida.nih.gov/drugpages/drugsofabuse.html.
  11. The Partnership at DrugFree.org. (n.d.). Drug Guide. Retrieved on September 30, 2013, from http://www.drugfree.org/drug-guide.
  12. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

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