Archive for March, 2009

Largest Share of Treatment Admissions is Still for Alcohol Abuse, But Has Significantly Decreased Over the Past Decade

Treatment admissions for prescription pain killer misuse has risen dramatically over the past decade – from constituting 1 percent of all admissions in 1997 to now representing 5 percent, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) 2007 Highlights report also indicates that although alcohol-related admissions still account for the largest share (40 percent) of the 1.8 million treatment admissions occurring throughout the country during 2007, this reflects a reduction from 50 percent in 1997.

The TEDS 2007 Highlights report is the latest in a series of yearly reports, developed by SAMHSA, providing demographic and other information on substance abuse treatment admissions from state licensed treatment facilities (most of them publicly-funded) across the country.  Although it does not include information on all treatment admissions, it is the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind and provides a vast array of specialized data on the characteristics of substance abuse treatment in the United States.

Among the findings:

• The percentage of treatment admissions for primary heroin abuse is at about the same level it was a decade ago (14 percent).

• The percentage of treatment admissions primarily due to methamphetamine/amphetamine abuse is relatively small.  Admissions accounted for 4 percent in 1997, rose to 9 percent in 2005, then decreased to 8 percent in 2006 and remained at 8 percent in 2007.

• Even though the proportion of admissions for primary marijuana abuse increased from 12 percent in 1997 to 16 percent in 2003, admissions have remained steady at 16 percent each year after.

“The TEDS report provides valuable insight into the true nature and scope of the challenges confronting the substance abuse treatment community,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. “By carefully analyzing this data, the public health community can better anticipate and address emerging needs.”
The report is available online at http://oas.samhsa.gov/TEDS2k7highlights/TOC.cfm
Copies may be obtained free of charge by calling SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) or by visiting http://ncadistore.samhsa.gov/catalog/productDetails.aspx?ProductID=17972 .    For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/ .


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From SAMHSA’s Award Winning Newsletter:

By Rebecca A. Clay

Local problems demand local solutions. That’s the basic philosophy behind the Drug Free Communities Support program, which harnesses the power of community coalitions to reduce and ultimately prevent substance use among young people.


drugfreecomm2Established under the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, the Drug Free Communities Support program now supports 769 community coalitions across the country. (See 2009 grant opportunity.)

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) oversees the program, while SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) manages the grants administration. A recent evaluation suggests that the program is successful. (See Promising Results for details.)

“The partnership between ONDCP and SAMHSA has been key,” said CSAP Director Frances M. Harding, explaining that working together at the Federal level offers grantees a model of the power of collaboration. “Changing community norms isn’t going to happen without all members of the community coming together in partnerships of their own.”


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Quick Fact

The average student drinks three times as much during spring break as he or she would during a normal weekend according to Dr. S. Walters of The University of Texas School of Public Health.

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2009 Metropolitan Association of Prevention Professionals Conference:



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MEDTOX Journal

One of the axioms of criminal justice and healthcare professionals is that people with untreated pain issues will often resort to the purchase of narcotics out on the street and maintain lives as addicts. It is also widely believed that a percentage of people properly treated with narcotics will develop problems with their control once the drugs are discontinued. In some parts of the country, prescription narcotic abuse is rampant, other parts of the country it isn’t. The most popularly abused opiates are drugs like Vicodin (hydrocodone) and Oxycontin (continual release oxycodone), these drugs are taken orally in their tablet form or they are crushed up and injected intravenously.




 Of great concern is the abuse of Oxycontin and its new generic versions. It is a compact, powerful drug that is composed of a concentrated dose of oxycodone that’s designed to uniformly dissolve over a 12-hour period of time. To achieve a uniform, consistent release of the drug, a substantial amount of oxycodone is compacted with a binder that controls the rate that the drug breaks down and released absorbed into the bloodstream. When the drug is crushed up, dissolved in water and then allowed to dry, Oxycontin has been converted into a sort of Oxy-now! When injected or smoked, the drug is totally, rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Many career heroin users describe the high as being better than that of heroin. (This claim actually makes sense when one takes the time to study oxycodone’s pharmacology)


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Some pharmacies still use a logbook to record who

Law enforcement and pharmacists could have another tool to keep key ingredients for methamphetamine out of the hands of addicts.

An electronic tracking system for ingredients like pseudoephedrine won Senate approval Thursday.

“A real-time system will allow law enforcement to know immediately who is purchasing precursors, and I think that will result in a significant drop in the number of meth labs,” said Sen. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, who sponsored Senate Bill 248.


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CADCA Launches Online Community for Coalition Leaders

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