News  National Survey on Drug Use and Health

  • Bureau of Substance Addiction Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has retained Research Triangle International (RTI) to conduct the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in the coming months.  RTI intends to survey members of the general public, and the Department of Public Health has been asked to inform you of the legitimacy and importance of response to the survey, should any of your constituents inquire.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual nationwide survey involving interviews with approximately 70,000 randomly-selected individuals aged 12 and older.  The NSDUH asks questions about health-related issues including individual experiences with and opinions about the use or non-use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

 Some other important things you should know about the survey:

  • It is not selling anything. This is not a marketing survey. 
  • Conducted annually, the NSDUH is the primary source of national and state-level data concerning alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. Information from this study is used by government agencies, policy makers, and researchers to monitor substance use trends and design and support prevention, treatment, and education programs.
  • All information provided is kept completely confidential and used for statistical purposes only in compliance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). 
  • A limited number of household addresses are randomly selected to represent the population of the United States.
  • Residents will be sent a letter explaining the study and informing them that an RTI interviewer will soon be visiting their household. 
  • The interviewer will only visit the selected households and need a few minutes of the residents’ time to see if someone in the household will be selected to participate in an interview. If selected, those completing the full interview will receive a $30 cash incentive.

Please advise staff, call takers, or any other personnel in your organization who interface with the public, of the validity of the survey should they be asked. Please forward this information to any member organizations or anyone who should be made aware of the survey.

This NSDUH information sheet contains some commonly asked questions and answers regarding this study.  More information about the NSDUH, SAMHSA, and RTI International can be obtained online at,, and Additionally, here are selected highlights from the 2018 NSDUH results for reference.  State level estimates of substance use can be found at

  • Bureau of Substance Addiction Services 

    BSAS oversees the statewide system of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services for individuals, families, and communities affected by gambling and substance addiction.
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