Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
Opiate addiction-treatment admissions have risen from 16 percent to 20 percent of all admissions in the last decade, and marijuana admissions have also ticked upwards even as cocaine admissions declined, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Marijuana admissions rose from 13 percent of total admissions in 1998 to 17 percent in 2008, while cocaine admissions fell from 15 percent to 11 percent. Admissions for addiction to stimulant drugs rose from 4 percent to 6 percent.
“Although the concurrent abuse of both alcohol and drugs has remained widespread, the proportion of treatment admissions for the co-abuse of these substances has declined gradually yet significantly during this period from 44 percent to 38 percent,” added SAMHSA. “At the same time there has been a steady rise in the proportion of treatment admissions attributed to drug abuse alone from 26 percent in 1998 to 37 percent in 2008, while the proportion of admissions attributed to alcohol alone fell from 27 percent in 1998 to 23 percent in 2008.”
Teen drug admissions dropped 10 percent between 2002 and 2008 after rising 13 percent from 1998 to 2001. Nearly 4 of 5 teen treatment admissions involved marijuana use, and about half were referrals from the criminal-justice system.
The National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment (TEDS) report is available online in PDF format.