National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1993 (ICPSR 6852)

Alternate Title:   NHSDA 1993

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies


This series measures the prevalence and correlates of drug use in the United States. The surveys are designed to provide quarterly, as well as annual, estimates. Information is provided on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, anabolic steroids, and tobacco among members of United States households aged 12 and older. Data are also provided on treatment for drug use and on illegal activities related to drug use. Questions include age at first use, as well as lifetime, annual, and past-month usage for the following drug classes: marijuana, inhalants, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, alcohol, tobacco, and nonmedical use of psychotherapeutics. Respondents were also asked about problems resulting from their use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, their perceptions of the risks involved, insurance coverage, and personal and family income sources and amounts. Demographic data include gender, race, ethnicity, educational level, job status, income level, household composition, and population density.

Series: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 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.


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Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1993. ICPSR06852-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-05-06.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies (271-91-5402)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    alcohol abuse, alcohol consumption, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, demographic characteristics, drug abuse, drug use, drugs, hallucinogens, heroin, households, inhalants, marijuana, methamphetamine, offenses, prescription drugs, sedatives, smoking, steroid use, stimulants, substance abuse, substance abuse treatment, tobacco use, tranquilizers, youths

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1993

Date of Collection:   

  • 1993-01-09--1993-12-31

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    The civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 and older, including residents of noninstitutional group quarters, such as college dormitories, group homes, and civilians dwelling on military installations. Persons with no permanent address, such as homeless persons and those living in hotels, were also included in the survey.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Data were collected by Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC, and prepared for release by National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, IL.

For some drugs that have multiple names, questions regarding the use of that drug may be asked for each distinct name. For example, even though methamphetamine, methedrine and desoxyn are the same drug, their use was measured in three separate variables.


Sample:    Multistage area probability sample design involving four selection stages: (a) primary areas (e.g., counties), (b) subareas within primary areas (blocks or block groups), (c) dwelling (listing) units (housing units or group quarters) within subareas, and (d) persons within dwelling (listing) units. A specially designed within-dwelling selection procedure was used to ensure desired sample sizes for subpopulations defined by age, smoking status, and race/ethnicity. Based on the strong association between reports of past-month cigarette smoking and recent drug use, a screening question was also introduced to collect past-month cigarette smoking status for all rostered persons within sampled dwellings. The three race/ethnicity classifications of dwelling unit heads were Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black (Black), and non-Hispanic non-Black (Whites and others). Six Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) of special interest were oversampled: Washington, DC, New York, Miami, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. These MSAs were oversampled in a way to allow separate estimation for low socioeconomic status (SES) urbanized areas and for all other areas of each MSA. Blacks, Hispanics, and youths aged 12-17 were also oversampled.

Weight:    Data were weighted based on the four stages of sampling that were used. Adjustments were made to compensate for nonresponse and sampling error. Adjustments also included trimming sample weights to reduce excessive weight variation and a post-stratification to Census population estimates. The final weight variable to be used in analysis is ANALWT.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires (drug use), and personal interviews

Response Rates:    A completed interview had to contain, at a minimum, data on the recency of use of marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol. The overall response rate was 79.2 percent. The response rates for the three race/ethnicity groups were: 85.2 percent for Hispanics, 82.9 percent for Blacks, and 75 percent for Whites and others.

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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: Users are reminded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that these data are to be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information and not for the investigation of specific individuals or treatment facilities.


Original ICPSR Release:   1997-03-07

Version History:

  • 2013-05-06 Data collection instrument released.
  • 2008-10-28 New files were added. These files included one or more of the following: Stata setup, SAS transport (CPORT), SPSS system, Stata system, SAS supplemental syntax, and Stata supplemental syntax files, and tab-delimited ASCII data file. Modified value labels and missing values for variable GQTYPE to correct previous errors. The variable CASEID was also added to the dataset.
  • 1999-06-16 SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been updated to include value labels and missing values sections.
  • 1997-07-18 A machine-readable codebook in Portable Document Format (PDF) is now available.

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