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DrugFacts: Treatment Statistics

Revised March 2011

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health,1 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (9.3 percent of persons aged 12 or older). Of these, only 2.6 million—11.2 percent of those who needed treatment—received it at a specialty facility.

SAMHSA also reports characteristics of admissions and discharges from substance abuse treatment facilities* in its Treatment Episode Data Set2 (TEDS). According to TEDS, there were 1.8 million admissions in 2008 for treatment of alcohol and drug abuse to facilities that report to State administrative data systems. Most treatment admissions (41.4 percent) involved alcohol abuse. Heroin and other opiates accounted for the largest percentage of drug-related admissions (20.0 percent), followed by marijuana (17.0 percent).

By Drug: Admissions to Publicly Funded Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, 2008
Percentage of Admissions** Substance or Drug
23.1 Alcohol only
18.3 Alcohol + another drug
17.0 Marijuana
14.1 Heroin
8.1 Smoked cocaine (crack)
6.5 Stimulants***
5.9 Opiates (not heroin) ****
3.2 Nonsmoked cocaine (e.g., cocaine powder)
0.6 Tranquilizers
0.2 PCP
0.2 Sedatives
0.1 Hallucinogens
0.1 Inhalants
0.4 Other drugs
2.2 None reported

About 60 percent of admissions were White, 21 percent were African-American, and 14 percent were Hispanic or Latino. Another 2.3 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, and 1 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.

By Race: Admissions to Publicly Funded Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, 2008
Percentage of Admissions** Race/Ethnicity
59.8 White
20.9 African-American
13.7 Hispanic Origin
2.3 American Indian or Alaska Native
1.0 Asian/Pacific Islander
2.3 Other

The age range with the highest proportion of treatment admissions was the 25–29 group at 14.8 percent, followed by those 20–24 at 14.4 percent and those 40–44 at 12.6 percent.

By Age Group: Admissions to Publicly Funded Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, 2008
Percentage of Admissions** Age Group
14.8 25-29
14.4 20-24
12.6 40-44
11.7 35-39
11.5 45-49
11.3 30-34
10.4 50-59
7.5 12-17
4.1 18-19
1.2 60-64
0.6 65 or older

Other Information Sources

For other information on treatment trends, visit SAMHSA’s publications ordering page or its Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality site.

For information on treatment research findings, visit our Treatment Research information page.

Data Sources

  1. NSDUH (formerly known as the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse) is an annual survey of Americans aged 12 and older conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) 1998–2008: National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services is published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. It contains demographic and substance abuse characteristics about treatment admissions to facilities that are licensed or certified by State substance abuse agencies.

Notes

* Includes facilities that are licensed or certified by the State substance abuse agency to provide substance abuse treatment. In general, facilities that report data are those that receive State alcohol and/or drug agency funds for the provision of alcohol and/or drug treatment services.

** Totals may add up to more or less than 100 percent because of rounding.

*** Methamphetamine accounted for 6.1 percent of admissions, and the remaining 0.4 percent were categorized as “Other Amphetamine.”

**** These drugs include codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine, opium, oxycodone, pentazocine, propoxyphene, tramadol, and any other drug with morphine-like effects. Nonprescription use of methadone is not included.

This page was last updated March 2011

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National Institute of Drug Abuse. Treatment Statistics Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statistics

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