Prevalence of Injection Drug Use Among Young Adults Aged 21-30 in the US

Share This

"• In the nine-year (2004–2012) combined sample of young adults aged 21–30, 1.6% report having ever used any drug by injection without medical supervision (Table 1a). There is a fair-sized gender difference—2.4% of males and 0.9% of females indicate such behavior. The percentage saying they injected on 40 or more occasions is 0.5% overall—0.6% for males and 0.4% for females. Therefore, a relatively limited segment of respondents has ever used an illicit drug by injection—about 1 in every 60; a smaller proportion. About 1 in every 200 respondents reports an extended pattern of use as indicated by use on 40 or more occasions.
"• The proportions of young adults who have injected drugs during the past 12 months without medical supervision is considerably smaller: 0.5% overall—1 in every 200 respondents—including 0.8% of males and 0.3% of females (a highly significant gender difference). The proportions using 40 or more times in the past 12 months are 0.2% overall—0.2% for males, and 0.1% for females. It is interesting to note that the proportional difference between the genders is larger for having injected drugs in their lifetime (2.4% of males versus 0.9% of females) than it is for having ever shared needles (0.5% of males versus 0.4% of females), suggesting that females injectors are more at risk of needle sharing."


Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., Patrick, M. E.. & Miech, R. A. (2013). HIV/AIDS: Risk & Protective Behaviors among American Young Adults, 2004–2012. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 18.

Share This