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.
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.
In 2014-16, 17% of Essex County youths reported using an illicit drug in the last 30 days, higher than the statewide rate of 16% and the national rate of 14%.
In 2014-16, Essex had a similar rate of youth drug use as Lake County, IL and Westchester, NY (both at 13%) and Middlesex, MA (16%).
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.