Injection Drug Abuse Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment: 1992 and 2009


According to a recent TEDS Report, the number of injection admissions to substance abuse treatment increased from over 199,000 in 1992 to nearly 278,000 in 2009, although they remained a relatively constant proportion of all admissions (13.2 percent of all substance abuse treatment admissions in 1992 and 14.3 percent in 2009). In 2009, most injection admissions (85.1 percent) reported that they injected their primary drug of abuse, 1 in 7 (14.9 percent) injected their secondary or tertiary drug of abuse.

Heroin

The proportion of heroin injection admissions that were young adults (aged 18 to 25) more than tripled between 1992 and 2009 from 8.7 to 28.2 percent. The proportion of heroin injection admissions age 50+ more than doubled from 5.0 percent to 11.6 percent (see Table below).

The pattern of admissions for heroin injection drug use by race/ethnicity also changed between 1992 and 2009. The proportion of all heroin injection admissions that were non-Hispanic White increased from 49.4 percent in 1992 to 69.9 percent in 2009.

Opiates Other Than Heroin

The proportion of opiates other than heroin injection admissions that were young adults (aged 18 to 25) increased more than 400 percent between 1992 and 2009 from 7.3 to 40.4 percent while the proportion of opiates other than heroin admissions age 50+ declined by over 60 percent from 5.0 percent to 11.6 percent.

The pattern of admissions for opiates other than heroin injection drug use by race/ethnicity also changed between 1992 and 2009. The proportion of all heroin injection admissions that were non-Hispanic White increased from 82.9 percent in 1992 to 91.0 percent in 2009.

TEDS Report: Percent Distribution of Injection Admissions, by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Substance of Abuse: 1992 and 2009

Age and Race/Ethnicity All Heroin Opiates Other
than Heroin
1992 2009 1992 2009 1992 2009
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Age            
12-17     0.5%     0.7%     0.3%     0.6%     0.4%     1.4%
18-25   10.5%   26.9%     8.4%   27.6%     6.9%   39.0%
26-34   37.7%   31.9%   34.4%   30.8%   36.8%   36.4%
35-49   47.2%   30.1%   51.9%   29.4%   52.8%   18.9%
50 or Older     4.1%   10.4%     5.0%   11.6%     3.1%     4.3%
Race/Ethnicity            
White, Non-Hispanic   55.2%   73.4%   49.4%   69.9%   82.9%   91.0%
Black, Non-Hispanic   20.9%     7.8%   21.9%     9.0%   11.6%     2.0%
Hispanic   20.8%   15.2%   25.7%   18.0%     3.4%     3.2%
American Indian/Alaska Native     1.4%     1.2%     1.0%     0.7%     1.2%     2.0%
Other     1.7%     2.4%     2.0%     2.4%     0.9%     1.8%

The report also noted that the data show that examining primary injection admissions alone would ignore a substantial number of secondary/tertiary injection admissions. Overall, about 1 in 7 injection admissions in 2009 were non-primary injection admissions. Public health professionals and substance abuse providers who monitor secondary/tertiary injection drug use may identify users at risk for disease transmission who would otherwise be overlooked if surveillance focused only on primary injection drug use.

The report can be access at: http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Injection-Drug-Abuse-Admissions-to-Substance-Abuse-Treatment-1992-and-2009/TEDS11-1201

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (December 1, 2011). The TEDS Report: Injection Drug Abuse Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment: 1992 and 2009. Rockville, MD.

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