THURSDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Rehab admissions related
to alcohol, opiates (including prescription painkillers) and
marijuana increased in the United States between 1999 and 2009,
according to a new national report.
However, fewer people sought treatment for problems with cocaine
and methamphetamine or amphetamines, the researchers noted.
One of the most staggering increases over the 10-year study
period: opiate admissions, mostly due to use of prescription
opioids, which include painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) or
The findings showed that 96 percent of the nearly 2 million
admissions to treatment facilities that occurred in 2009 were
related to alcohol (42 percent), opiates (21 percent), marijuana
(18 percent), cocaine (9 percent) and methamphetamine/amphetamines
The report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA) identified trends in the reasons
why people are admitted to substance abuse treatment
The SAMHSA report revealed that prescription drugs were to blame
for 33 percent of opiate rehab admissions in 2009 -- up from just 8
percent a decade earlier.
Alcohol abuse also remains a serious problem. It was the number
one reason for substance abuse treatment among all major ethnic and
racial groups, except Puerto Ricans, according to the report.
Although alcohol-related admissions dropped from 48 percent to 39
percent between 1999 and 2005, the number resurged to 42 percent of
all admissions by 2009. Compounding the problem, 44 percent of
those who abused alcohol admitted to using other drugs as well.
"This new report shows the challenge our nation's health system must address as the treatment needs of people with drug and alcohol problems continue to evolve," SAMHSA administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, said in an agency news release. "People often arrive in treatment programs with multiple problems -- including dependency or addiction to multiple substances of abuse."
Marijuana is another leading cause of admission to treatment
facilities, jumping from 13 percent to 18 percent of admissions
between 1999 and 2009. The majority of these cases, 74 percent,
involved men, and nearly half of these patients were white. The
drug was also a reason for 86 percent of admissions involving teens
aged 12 to 17 years, according to the report.
As abuse of alcohol, marijuana and opiates rose over the decade,
rehab admissions for cocaine use fell from 14 percent to 9 percent.
Methamphetamine and amphetamine admissions rose from 4 percent to 9
percent between 1999 and 2005, but then settled at 6 percent by
"As health care reform continues to improve the delivery of health services in our country, this type of information will increasingly be used to inform the needs of an integrated system of care," Hyde stated in the SAMHSA news release.
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more on
drug abuse and addiction.