The percentage of admissions to state-funded substance abuse treatment facilities citing heroin as a primary substance of abuse has reached the highest level since data collection began in 1992, according to data from the national Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). After six years of stability, heroin admissions increased from 14% in 2010 to 16% in 2012 (the most recent year for which data are available). In contrast, admissions for the primary abuse of other opiates*, which had increased steadily since the late 1990s, remained at around 10% in 2011 (10.1%) and 2012 (9.7%). Cocaine admissions continued to decline, reaching a new low of 7% in 2012 (data not shown).

Primary Substance of Abuse (Other Than Alcohol) at Admission to U.S. State Licensed or Certified Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities, Ages 12 and Older, 1992 to 2012

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NOTES: TEDS data are of admissions to treatment ages 12 and older for abuse of alcohol and/or drugs in facilities that report to State administrative data systems. Data include records for admissions that were received and processed through 10/17/13. TEDS admissions do not represent individuals; an individual admitted to treatment twice within a calendar year would be counted as two admissions. Admissions can report up to three substances of abuse that led to the treatment episode.

*The category Other Opiates includes non-prescription methadone, buprenorphine, codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine, opium, oxycodone, pentazocine, propoxyphene, tramadol, and any other drug with morphine-like effects.

While the focus of this analysis is on treatment admissions for drugs other than alcohol, it should be noted that alcohol remains the most frequently mentioned primary substance of abuse—despite the fact that the percentage of admissions for alcohol decreased from 59% in 1992 to 39% in 2012.

SOURCE: Adapted by CESAR from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, SAMHSA, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 2002-2012. National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services, 2014.

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