National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1990 (ICPSR 9833)

Published: May 6, 2013

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse


Version V5

NHSDA 1990

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. 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.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-05-06.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Public Health and Science (271-88-8310)

Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration

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.


1990-09 -- 1991-02

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

Data were weighted based on the three stages of sampling that were used. The person-level sampling weight is the product of the three-stage sampling weights, each of which is equal to the inverse of the selection probability for that stage. 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.

To protect the anonymity of respondents, all variables that could be used to identify individuals have been deleted from the public use file.

For selected variables, statistical imputation was performed following logical imputation to replace missing responses. Unique code values were assigned to the recency-of-use variable when such logical imputation occurred. These code values are readily identifiable by the phrase "... LOGICALLY IMPUTED" or "... LOGICALLY ASSIGNED" in the code value descriptions.

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.

Multistage area sample design with an oversampling of young people, minorities, and the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The population of the continuous United States, aged 12 and older, living in households.


personal interviews, including self-enumerated answer sheets for questions on drugs

survey data



2013-05-06 Data collection instrument released.

2008-07-25 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. The variable CASEID was also added to the dataset.

1997-12-12 A machine-readable codebook in Portable Document Format (PDF) is now available.

1993-02-14 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.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

1999-03-18 The data file was reprocessed to recode missing values previously coded as "." to blanks. This will enable users to use the data in SPSS without modification. Also, SAS and SPSS data definition statements are now available for this study.


  • 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.


This study is maintained and distributed by the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP). NAHDAP is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).