First-Time Versus Repeat Admissions
Maintaining recovery from substance use disorders can be a challenge. Often, people relapse into old habits after a period of staying away from drugs or alcohol.
A new SAMHSA report describes how individuals who are re-admitted to treatment (repeat admissions) often exhibit different substance use and characteristics than individuals admitted to treatment for the first time.
The report, First-Time and Repeat Admissions Aged 18 to 25 to Substance Abuse Treatment: 2006, examines the characteristics of 18- to 25-year-old substance abuse treatment admissions, the age group that makes up nearly a quarter (22 percent) of all admissions in 2006.
Information cited in the report comes from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), an annual compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance
abuse problems of those admitted to treatment.
TEDS is part of the Drug and Alcohol Services Information System, the primary source of national information on the services available for substance abuse treatment and the characteristics of admitted individuals.
In 2006, repeat admissions age 18 to 25 were more likely than first-time admissions of the same age to report heroin and other opiates as the primary substance of abuse
(27 versus 12 percent). Repeat admissions also were more likely to report the use of multiple substances (67 versus 56 percent).
Repeat admissions age 18 to 25, however, were less likely than first-time admissions to report alcohol (26 versus 35 percent) or marijuana (22 versus 28 percent) as the primary substance of abuse. The proportion of admissions in this age group reporting marijuana as their primary substance decreased with increasing age.
The majority of admissions age 18 to 25 to substance abuse treatment in the northeast (61 percent) and midwest (52 percent) were repeat admissions in 2006. However, less than one-third (31 percent) of treatment admissions of the same age in the south and less than half (40 percent) in the west were repeat admissions.
Treatment histories for admissions age 18 to 25 varied by region. The south was unlike any other region in that a majority of all admissions in this age group were first-time instead of repeat admissions, regardless of primary substance of abuse.
In contrast, the midwest showed similar proportions of first-time and repeat admissions among those age 18 to 25 reporting primary alcohol or marijuana abuse, but admissions of the same age reporting primary cocaine, heroin and other opiates, or stimulant abuse were predominantly
In the northeast, the majority of 18- to 25-year-old admissions reporting primary cocaine, heroin and other opiates, or stimulant abuse were repeat admissions.
In 2006, the average age of first use was younger for repeat substance abuse treatment admissions age 18 to 25 than for first-time admissions the same age. Depending on the primary substance of abuse, the difference ranged from 5 to 14 months.
Overall, repeat and first-time admissions in the 18- to 25-year-old age group were almost equally likely to have private types of health insurance.
However, first-time admissions between
18 and 25 years of age were consistently more likely than repeat admissions of the same age to report having no health insurance. Overall, 65 percent of first-time admissions age 18 to 25 reported having no health insurance
compared with 59 percent of repeat admissions of the same age.
First-Time and Repeat Admissions Aged 18 to 25 to Substance Abuse Treatment: 2006 is available on SAMHSA's Web site.