What does this measure?
The rate of adolescents aged 12-17 reporting use of any illicit drug (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, unauthorized use of prescription drugs, etc.) in the last 30 days.
Why is this important?
Drug use has serious long-term physical and mental effects on young people, and can be particularly damaging to the social and psychological development of a young person's brain. It can also cause individuals to contract diseases such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis, and can lead to death from an accident or overdose.
How is our county doing?
In 2016-18, 16% of Essex County youths reported using an illicit drug in the last 30 days, lower than the statewide rate of 17% and higher than the national rate of 13%.
How do we compare to similar counties?
In 2016-18, Essex had a similar rate of youth drug use as Lake County, IL (13%), Westchester, NY (10%) and Middlesex, MA (17%).
Notes about the data
Illicit drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically. Data come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA combined three years of responses to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates.
For this indicator, the counties were defined by the "2012-14 National Survey on Drug Use and Health." Because of this, Essex County includes some parts of Middlesex County and Middlesex County includes some parts of Norfolk and Plymouth counties. In addition, the data for Westchester County contains two additional counties: Putnam and Rockland.