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SAMHSA News - July/August 2004, Volume 12, Number 4

Treatment Admissions Increase for Opiates, Marijuana, Methamphetamine

The proportion of admissions to substance abuse treatment for abuse of narcotic prescription medications, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine increased in the past 10 years, while admissions to treatment for cocaine abuse declined. SAMHSA released these data and other treatment-related highlights in the Treatment Episode Data Set Summary of Findings: 2002. The full Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) will be released later this year.

The new data show that heroin abuse is the primary reason for admission to treatment in 15 percent of cases, up from 11 percent of admissions in 1992. For other opiates—largely prescription narcotic pain medications—admissions increased from less than 1 percent of all admissions in 1992 to 2 percent in 2002.

Marijuana admissions increased from 6 percent of all admissions in 1992 to 15 percent in 2002. While the average age at admission was 34 years old for all admissions, the average age of admission for primary marijuana abuse was 23 years old.

Methamphetamine admissions also jumped from 1992 to 2002. For abuse of stimulants (mainly methamphetamines), admissions increased from 1 percent to 7 percent in 10 years. Cocaine admissions, on the other hand, declined from 18 percent of admissions in 1992 to 13 percent in 2002.

SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., noted that "we must provide people in need an opportunity for recovery by encouraging them to enter and remain in drug treatment."

Alcohol is still the most abused substance among those entering substance abuse treatment. The TEDS data show that it accounted for 43 percent of admissions in 2002, but this is down from 59 percent of admissions in 1992. Further, 45 percent of today's primary alcohol abuse admissions reported secondary drug abuse as well.

This new report provides information on the demographic and substance abuse characteristics of the 1.9 million annual admissions to treatment for abuse of alcohol and drugs in facilities that report to individual state administrative data systems. This summary report is issued in advance of the full TEDS Report for 1992-2002. The full report will include additional data, including state data and state rates.

The summary report is available on the Web at of Article

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Inside This Issue

Older Adults: Improving Mental Health Services
  • Part 1
  • Part 2
    Older Adults—Related Content:
  • From the Administrator: Mental Health for Older Americans
  • Resources for Older Adults
  • Targeted Capacity Expansion Sites
  • Countering Stigma
  • Prescription Drugs & Alcohol Don't Mix
  • Increases in Substance Abuse Treatment
      Chart—All Admissions, 2001
  • Safety Tips on Medicines & Alcohol

    Stigma and Mental Illness: SAMHSA Raises Awareness

    SAMHSA Unveils Strategic Prevention Framework

    In Brief…
  • HIPAA Publication
  • Publications in Spanish
  • Children's Program Kit
  • ADSS Cost Study

    Behind the Numbers: SAMHSA's Survey on Drug Use

    For Many Youth, Summer Means First-Time Substance Use
    Related Content:  
  • Chart—First Time Substance Use
  • Young Drivers Report

    SAMHSA Releases Updated Directory of Treatment Programs

    Tip 40—Buprenorphine Treatment: Guide for Physicians

    Treatment Admissions Increase for Opiates, Marijuana, Methamphetamine

    Drug-Abusing Mothers Place Their Children at Risk

    Non-medical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers Increases

    Recovery Month Toolkit Now Available

    SAMHSA Revamps Agency Web Site, Improves Usability

    SAMHSA News

    SAMHSA News - July/August 2004, Volume 12, Number 4

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