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Moving Forward: Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Plan, 2006-2011 

Figure HA-3
Illicit Drug Use, Alaska and U.S.,
Ages 12 and Older

Alcohol-induced deaths 

The percentage of illicit drug users ages 12 and older in Alaska does not show any clear trend from 2003 to 2008, but it is consistently at least 30% above the national percentage. In 2008, Alaska ranked number 6 in the U.S. for illicit drug use.

Definition: Illicit Drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug.

In Alaska, those aged 18 to 25 have the highest rates of illicit drug use.According to the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of Alaska high school students: 23 percent had used marijuana one or more times during the 30 days preceding being surveyed 21 percent had used unprescribed drugs one or more times during their life 10 percent had sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray cans, or inhaled paint or sprays to get high one or more times during their life

Drug-induced deaths are expressed as Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL), or an estimate of the average time a person would have lived had he/she not died prematurely due to drug use. According to preliminary 2008 data for Alaska, drug-induced deaths resulted in 23.5 years of potential life lost per decedent.

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health for rates and Table B-1 for state comparisons