Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Vary Regionally

Overall rate stable from 1998 to 2008, but report reveals large variations between regions

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- While the overall rate of admissions for substance abuse treatment in the United States remained stable between 1998 and 2008, there were substantial variations between regions, according to a new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report published Dec. 23.

The report reveals that the overall rate of admissions for substance abuse treatment in the United States remained stable at 770 admissions for every 100,000 individuals between 1998 and 2008. Nationally, the rate of admissions for alcohol as the primary drug declined by 15 percent; however, admission rates for alcohol use remained the same in the West North Central region. The rate of admissions for marijuana use increased by 30 percent nationally, with rates highest in the West North Central and Middle Atlantic states.

The report also reveals that increased admissions for pain reliever abuse occurred in every U.S. region, with rates highest in the New England and East South Central states. The rate of admissions for methamphetamine treatment was 53 percent higher in 2008 compared with 1998, but reduced from a peak rate of admissions in 2005. Rates of admissions for methamphetamine treatment were highest in the Pacific, West North Central, and Mountain states. While rates of admission for heroin use decreased by 3 percent from 1998 to 2008 nationally, the drop was not uniform and the rates actually increased in some regions, with admission rates consistently highest in the New England and Middle Atlantic states. Both national and regional admission rates for cocaine use decreased.

"This study provides insight into the regional nature of substance abuse by highlighting the shifting trends in the reasons for admission to substance abuse treatment," Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., a SAMHSA administrator, said in a statement.

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