National Health Interview Survey, 1991: Drug and Alcohol Use Supplement (ICPSR 6132)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics


The purpose of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is to obtain information about the amount and distribution of illness, its effects in terms of disability and chronic impairments, and the kinds of health services people receive. This supplement includes variables from the core Person File (see NATIONAL HEALTH INTERVIEW SURVEY, 1991 [ICPSR 6049]), including sex, age, race, marital status, veteran status, education, income, industry and occupation codes, and limits on activity. Variables unique to this supplement include respondents' use of alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, painkillers, inhalants, stimulants, heroin, hallucinogens, marijuana, and cocaine. Respondents were also asked if they ever used a controlled substance, how often they used it, when they last used it, and at what age they first used it. Questions about personal and legal problems due to drug and/or alcohol use were asked as well. In addition, respondents were queried about activities performed while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and if they had tried to cut down on the use of these substances.

Series: National Health Interview Survey Series

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

    This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).


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Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 1991: Drug and Alcohol Use Supplement. ICPSR06132-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    alcohol consumption, chronic disabilities, chronic illnesses, cocaine, disabilities, drinking behavior, drug use, hallucinogens, health, health care, health care services, health problems, illness, inhalants, marijuana, sedatives, stimulants

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1991

Date of Collection:   

  • 1991

Universe:    Civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Item nonresponse was handled differently than in many NHIS special topic questionnaires. Because the questionnaire was self-administered and "Don't know" was not listed as a valid response, all missing or out-of-range codes were combined into a single "unknown" category (code = 9).

Per agreement with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), ICPSR distributes the data file and technical documentation in this collection in their original form as prepared by NCHS.


Sample:    The NHIS uses a stratified multistage probability sampling design. The NHIS Drug and Alcohol Use Supplement was given to all sample persons 18-44 years of age.

Data Source:

personal interviews, and self-enumerated questionnaires

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: In preparing the data for this collection, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has removed direct identifiers and characteristics that might lead to identification of data subjects. As an additional precaution, NCHS requires, under section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 242m), that data collected by NCHS not be used for any purpose other than statistical analysis and reporting. NCHS further requires that analysts not use the data to learn the identity of any persons or establishments and that the director of NCHS be notified if any identities are inadvertently discovered. ICPSR member institutions and other users ordering data from ICPSR are expected to adhere to these restrictions.


Original ICPSR Release:   1993-10-11

Version History:

  • 2003-01-10 SAS and SPSS data definition statements were created for this collection, and the machine-readable codebook was converted to Portable Document Format (PDF).

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