Patterns Changing in Substance Use Admissions

Treatment admissions decreased for co-abuse of alcohol and drugs, increased for drug abuse alone
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Some patterns of substance use treatment admissions changed substantially from 1998 to 2008, according to a study published in April by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the report, Leigh Henderson, Ph.D., of Synectics for Management Decisions Inc. in Arlington, Va., presented national-level data from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) for admissions involving people age 12 and older in 2008, and trend data for 1998 to 2008.

Between 1998 and 2008, Henderson found that the proportion of admissions involving co-abuse of alcohol and drugs declined from 44 to 38 percent, admissions involving alcohol abuse alone decreased from 27 to 23 percent, and that cocaine admissions decreased from 15 to 11 percent. However, she found that the proportion of admissions involving drug abuse alone increased from 26 to 37 percent. She also observed increases in opiate, marijuana, and stimulant admissions, and an increase in the proportion of admissions of people age 16 and over who were unemployed.

"TEDS does not include all admissions to substance abuse treatment," the author writes. "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."

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