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Marijuana Abuse Treatment Increases Sharply

Admissions Up 162 Percent Over 10 Years

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Updated April 07, 2005

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a trend report showing that admission rates for treatment for marijuana as a primary substance of abuse increased 162 percent nationally between 1992 and 2002. The data are extracted from SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set 1992-2002.

The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) is an annual compilation of data on the substance abuse problems of those admitted for substance abuse treatment. The new study, "Trends in Marijuana Admissions by State: 1992-2002," shows admissions to treatment for primary marijuana abuse rose in 41 states. Admission rates are calculated per 100,000 population ages 12 and older in a state.

"Marijuana is not a harmless substance, and these treatment trends emphasize that point," SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie noted. "It is time for parents and young adults to understand that marijuana is dangerous and it should be shunned for the illegal substance it is."

The number of marijuana admissions to treatment per year more than tripled in the 1992-2002 time period. Marijuana admissions increased from six percent to 15 percent of all admissions. In 1992 admissions to treatment for marijuana were at a national rate of 45 admissions per 100,000 population ages 12 and older. In 26 states, the rate was less than 50 per 100,000 population.

By 1997 the rate of treatment admissions for marijuana abuse more than doubled to 93 admissions per 100,000 persons ages 12 or older. In 2002, the treatment admission rate for marijuana abuse had risen to 118 admissions per 100,000 persons ages 12 or older. Six states had admission rates less than 50 per 100,000 and 21 states had rates of 139 or more per 100,000 population.

The report is available online.

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