DrugSense Weekly September 8, 2000 #165

DrugSense Weekly September 8, 2000 #165
Posted by FoM on September 08, 2000 at 12:40:30 PT
By Jerry Epstein & Doug McVay-Stats by John Chase
Source: DrugSense
Household Survey Stats on Drug "Abuse" Found Misleading:NOTE: The following comments on the recent National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) point out a number of interesting flaws and factoids. Our government misleading there's a news flash! New York Times author, David Stout et. al. said:"The study found a 21 percent drop from 1997 to 1999 among those 12 to 17 who said they had used an illegal drug in the month before they were surveyed. 
... Nine percent of those 12 to 17 reported using an illicit drug in 1999 compared with 11.4 percent who admitted drug use in 1997." See: real figures [below] show 1999 to be not 9% but 10.9%, an increase over 1998 - the actual reported change from '97 to '99 is so small it is probably statistically zero.1997   11.4% 1998    9.9%1999   10.9%Also NYT: "The use of marijuana in that age group showed a steeper decline than overall drug use, declining by 26 percent.While 9.4 percent of the young people surveyed in 1997 said they had used marijuana in the preceding month, only 7 percent of those surveyed last year said they had.Since marijuana remains the most popular illicit drug among youths, the officials found its decline in popularity encouraging."Aside from the fact that the real study number was 7.7% and not 7%, a decrease in marijuana use while overall use stays fairly constant is not good news -- it means there has been a shift from marijuana to other more dangerous drugs.Every place these appeared is a great opportunity for us. Jerry EpsteinPresident, Drug Policy Forum of Texas [DPFT]DATA:The 12-17 year old group. The public figures vs. their data of Page are as follows:     Any Illicit Drug    Marijuana/Hash     Public   Table    Public  Table1997   11.4%   11.4%    9.4%   9.4% 1998   9.9%    9.9%    8.3%   8.3%1999   9.0%   10.9%    7.0%   7.7%Table G-7 for 1999. John got 97 and 98 from last year's report. There was actually a 4.4% decrease, from 11.4% in 1997 to 10.9% in 1999 And no mention was made that 1999 increased from 1998's 9.9%. A Quick note about the data from the Household Survey. There are two sets of national data reported in the summary report available on-line, derived using different methods of data collection. One is the new CAI (Computer Assisted Interviewing) method, the other is PAPI (Paper And Pencil Interviewing). The stats reported in the news release which the NY Times quoted are contained in the Trends Analysis in Section 4, those numbers are simply different than the numbers presented in Section 2. The Section 4 data were derived from a supplemental sample surveyed using the traditional PAPI method to provide a basis for analyzing trends, given the major changes in this year's survey. Thus, the different figures for use rates and trends.The authors do caution in the report that because of problems the data in Section 4 isn't as solid as they wanted, so they weren't able to make as much use of them as had been planned. They also caution against comparing 1999 CAI data (section 2 of the report) with previous years because of the change in methodology -- which doesn't stop the feds from doing precisely that, of course.Main point being, the data may be bad but what was reported was contained in the survey. The feds were simply selective about which numbers to use in the news release, and selected whichever bits made their case.HHS has posted the Household Survey on the SAMHSA website. The highlights can be found at: 1999 National Household Survey full report can be accessed through the web at: A PDF version of the publication should be available soon. Also, fyi, the 1999 Year End Emergency Dept. Data from DAWN is now available for download from SAMHSA. The PDF is available at this url: McVayClick the link to read all of Drug Sense's Weekly News Bulletin: DrugSense Weekly September 8, 2000 #165 Article: Survey Finds Teens Using Cigarettes, Drugs Less MapInc. Archives:
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