Chapter 1

Trends in Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions
Aged 12 and Older: 1999-2009

Trends in Primary Substance of Abuse: 1999-2009
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 2009 and trend data for 1999 to 2009. It is a companion to the report Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 1999-2009 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. Data include records for admissions during calendar years 1999 through 2009 that were received and processed through November 3, 2010.1

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 admissions at 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 the history and methodology of TEDS and this report as well as important issues related to State data collection systems are detailed in Appendix A.

This chapter details trends in the annual numbers and rates of admissions aged 12 and older in 2009 and trends for 1999 to 2009. 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 to abusers of other drugs.) TEDS data thus have important implications for resource allocation and program planning.


1 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.datafiles.samhsa.gov.
Summary 2010 data for individual States that have submitted the full year of data are available online through the TEDS Quick Statistics website at http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/webt/NewMapv1.htm.

Trends in Primary Substance of Abuse: 1999-2009

Admissions can report up to three substances of abuse. These represent the substances that led to the treatment episode and are not necessarily a complete enumeration of all substances used at the time of admission. Most of the information in this report is based on an admission's primary substance of abuse, although secondary and/or tertiary substances are mentioned in a couple of tables (see Appendix A for more details).

Table 1.1b and Figure 1. The number of admissions aged 12 and older increased by 14 percent from 1999 to 2009, commensurate with a similar increase in the U.S. population aged 12 and older.


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 a maximum of three substances of abuse and not all substances abused, alcohol use among polydrug abusers may be underreported.

Figure 1
Primary substance of abuse at admission: 1999-2009

Figure 1, Line chart comparing Primary substance of abuse at admission: TEDS 1999-2009

Trends in Demographic Characteristics

Table 1.3b. Males represented 68 percent of TEDS admissions aged 12 and older in 2009, a proportion that declined slightly but steadily from 71 percent in 1999.

Table 1.3b and Figure 2. The age distribution of TEDS admissions aged 12 and older changed between 1999 and 2009.

Figure 2
Age at admission: TEDS 1999-2009 and U.S. population 2009

Figure 2. Stacked bar chart comparing Age at admission: TEDS 1999-2009 and U.S. population 2009

Table 1.4 and Figure 3. The racial/ethnic composition of TEDS admissions aged 12 and older changed very little between 1999 and 2009.

Figure 3
Race/ethnicity of admissions: TEDS 1999-2009 and U.S. population 2009

Figure 3. Stacked bar chart comparing Race/ethnicity of admissions: TEDS 1999-2009 and U.S. population 2009

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 (employed, unemployed, and not in labor force) shown in Table 1.5. Because TEDS admissions differ demographically from the U.S. population, Table 1.5 also 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: 1999-2009

Figre 4. Line chart comparing Employment status at admission, aged 16 and older: 1999-2009


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.

TO TABLES

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