Carl Hart Discusses the Most Popular Drugs in America

Dr. Hart is an Associate Professor of Psychology in both the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University, and Director of the Residential Studies and Methamphetamine Research Laboratories at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.  A major focus of Dr. Hart’s research is to understand complex interactions between drugs of abuse and the neurobiology and environmental factors that mediate human behavior and physiology.  

He is the author or co-author of dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology, co-author of the textbook, Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior, and a member of a NIH review group.  Dr. Hart was recently elected to Fellow status by the American Psychological Association (Division 28) for his outstanding contribution to the field of psychology, specifically psychopharmacology and substance abuse.

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Question: What are the most popular drugs in the United States?

Hart:    So the most popular drug in the US of course is alcohol, largest number of users about are alcohol users.  I think there is about a 125 million folks who use alcohol in the past month.  Then you have drug like marijuana and tobacco.  Marijuana I think is about 15 million current users that is in the last month.  Tobacco maybe about 30 million to 40 million current users.  So those are the big ones and now you think about other drugs that are used in the US psycho active drugs, when you talked about cocaine, cocaine is next and I suspect it’s about 2 million I think, amphetamines less than a million, heroin less than a million sort of regular users but the prescription of be at drugs I believe there are about 4 million of those folks whoa re taking the drugs without a prescription so you can see that alcohol overwhelms those statistics and that’s by far the most popular in part because it’s legal whereas this other drugs are less available.


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