Government and Regulations

Substance Abuse: Good News, Not So Good News

SAMHSA reveals a decline in some forms of substance abuse but an unfortunate increase in others.


Admissions to publicly funded substance abuse treatment have declined slightly for alcohol abuse and markedly for cocaine use, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report’s findings, drawn from the 2013 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), show that admissions dropped from 1,865,145 in 2003 to 1,683,451 in 2013. Alcohol use, although still responsible for the largest proportion of admissions, decreased from 42% to 38%. Cocaine (including crack) use declined dramatically from 14% to 6%. Marijuana use remained fairly steady over the past 10 years at 16% to 17%.

However, during the same period, heroin use admissions rose from 15% to 19%. And more than half of all patients admitted in 2013 reported abusing more than one substance.

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