Chapter 1

Trends in Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions
Aged 12 and Older: TEDS 1998-2008

Trends in Primary Substance of Abuse:1998-2008
Trends in the Co-Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs
Trends in Demographic Characteristics
Trends in Employment Status

This report presents national-level data from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) for admissions in 2008 and trend data for 1998 to 2008. It is a companion to the upcoming report, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 1998-2008 State Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment. These reports provide information on the demographic and substance abuse characteristics of admissions to treatment aged 12 and older for abuse of alcohol and/or drugs in facilities that report to individual State administrative data systems.

TEDS is an admission-based system, and TEDS admissions do not represent individuals. Thus, for example, an individual admitted to treatment twice within a calendar year would be counted as two admissions.

TEDS does not include all admissions to substance abuse treatment. It includes facilities that are licensed or certified by the State substance abuse agency to provide substance abuse treatment (or are administratively tracked for other reasons). In general, facilities reporting TEDS data are those that receive State alcohol and/or drug agency funds (including Federal Block Grant funds) for the provision of alcohol and/or drug treatment services. Additional information on TEDS, its background and methodology, is located in Appendix A.

For researchers interested in more detailed analysis, TEDS public use files are available for online data analysis or download at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive which can be accessed at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/SAMHDA/index.html. Summary 2009 data for individual States that have submitted the full year of data are available on-line through the TEDS Quick
Statistics website at http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/webt/NewMapv1.htm.

This chapter details trends in the annual numbers of admissions aged 12 and older for 1998 to 2008.1 Trend data are invaluable in monitoring changing patterns in substance abuse treatment admissions. These patterns reflect underlying changes in substance abuse in the population as well as changing priorities in the treatment/reporting system. (For example, limited resources and targeted programs may result in a shift of State funds from treatment of alcohol abusers to treatment of drug abusers.) TEDS data thus have important implications for resource allocation and program planning.


1Data were not submitted or were incomplete for one or more years in some States or jurisdictions because of changes to their data collection systems. These States were: Alabama (2007), Alaska (2004-2008), the District of Columbia (2004-2007), Georgia (2007-2008), Puerto Rico (1998-2001), and West Virginia (1998 and 2000-2002).

Trends in Primary Substance of Abuse: 1998-2008

Table 1.1 and Figure 1. The number of admissions aged 12 and older increased by 12 percent from 1998 to 2008, commensurate with a similar increase in the U.S. population aged 12 and older.

Figure 1
Primary substance of abuse at admission: TEDS 1998-2008

Line chart comparing Primary substance of abuse at admission: TEDS 1998-2008


2 These drugs include methadone, codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine, opium, oxycodone, pentazocine, propoxyphene, tramadol, and any other drug with morphine-like effects.

Trends in the Co-Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs

Table 1.2. The concurrent abuse of alcohol and drugs continues to be a significant problem. Because TEDS collects only the three major substances of abuse and not all substances abused, alcohol use among polydrug abusers may be under-reported.

Trends in Demographic Characteristics

Table 1.3. Males represented 68 percent of TEDS admissions aged 12 and older in 2008, a proportion that declined slightly but steadily from 71 percent in 1998.

Table 1.3 and Figure 2. The age distribution of TEDS admissions aged 12 and older changed between 1998 and 2008.

Figure 2
Age at admission: TEDS 1998-2008; and U.S. population 2008

Stacked bar chart comparing Race/ethnicity of admissions: TEDS 1998-2008


Table 1.4 and Figure 3. The racial/ethnic composition of TEDS admissions aged 12 and older changed very little between 1998 and 2008.

Figure 3
Race/ethnicity of admissions: TEDS 1998-2008

Stacked bar chart comparing Age at admission: TEDS 1998-2008; and U.S. population 2008

Trends in Employment Status

Table 1.5 and Figure 4. TEDS admissions aged 16 and older were less likely to be employed than the U.S. population aged 16 and older. This is evident in the unadjusted distributions of admissions by employment status and education shown in Table 1.5. Because TEDS admissions differ demographically from the U.S. population, Table 1.5 shows distributions that have been statistically adjusted to provide a more valid comparison to the U.S. population.3 The adjusted distributions indicate an even greater disparity in socioeconomic status than do the unadjusted.

Figure 4
Employment status at admission, aged 16 and older: TEDS 1998-2008

Line chart comparing Employment status at admission, aged 16 and older: TEDS 1998-2008


3The distributions have been adjusted for age, gender, and race/ethnicity to the U.S. population. In essence, this technique compares the distributions under the assumption that the TEDS population and the U.S. population had the same age, gender, and racial/ethnic characteristics.
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