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2016-2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Other Sources of State-Level Data

December 31, 2017

A variety of surveys and data systems other than the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collect data on substance use problems and mental disorders. It is useful to
consider the results of these other studies when discussing NSDUH data. This document briefly describes one of these other data systems that publish state estimates and presents selected comparisons with NSDUH results. The state-level survey that collects data on substance use discussed in this document is the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another CDC data system that provides state-level substance use estimates for most but not all states is the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Differences between the YRBS and NSDUH sampling designs, as well as the wider range of age groups used in NSDUH small area estimates, imply that comparisons of estimates are not straightforward. However, ignoring these differences and examining estimates at a national level, the YRBS has been generally shown to have higher estimates than NSDUH has (Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality [CBHSQ], 2016, 2017a, 2018).


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