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Alcohol Treatment Rates Way Down - Drug Addiction Treatment Rates Way Up

Although the total number of people seeking addiction treatment changed very little between 1998 and 2008, the substances these people sought help for did change quite a bit, with alcohol admissions down considerably and drug addiction admissions, particularly opiate pain pills and marijuana addiction admissions, considerably up.

Although the number of people seeking out help for addictions hasn’t changed much over the last decade or so, data from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency’s (SAMHSA) study on treatment, State Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services: TEDS 1998 – 2008, suggests drug abuse and addiction are becoming a bigger problem as alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction may be on the decline.

Significant findings from the study include:

  • Roughly 770 Americans per 100 000 seek out addiction treatment in any given year – a number that has remained relatively stable over the 1998 to 2008 period.
  • Compared to 1998, by 2008 the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol addiction had declined by 15%
  • Between 1998 and 2008, treatment admission for people addicted to opiates other than heroin rose by 345%
  • Compared to 1998, by 2008, the number seeking treatment for marijuana as a primary addiction had increased by 30%
  • Heroin treatment admissions were down 3% in 2008 compared to 1998, but this decline was not uniformly experienced across the country, and in some areas, heroin admissions increased significantly over the decade
  • Cocaine admission dropped by 23% over the decade
  • Methamphetamine admissions increased by 53% between 1998 and 2008, but are still down significantly from their highest point, during 2005

Read the SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set website for more details on treatment admission over the 11 year period.

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  • Drug Treatment: While alcoholism treatment needs are down, such good news is tempered by a greatly increased need for opiate addiction treatment.
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