Treatment Admissions for Abuse of Narcotic Pain Medications Doubled in Ten Years

In the ten years between 1992 and 2002 treatment admission rates for abuse of narcotic pain medications more than doubled, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported today. The report, "Treatment Admissions Involving Narcotic Painkillers 2002 Update" shows that these admissions increased for all ages, but especially among people aged 20 to 30.

According to the report, between 1997 and 2002, the proportion of new users - those entering treatment within three years of beginning use - increased from 26 percent in 1997 to 39 percent in 2002. The median duration of use before first seeking treatment decreased from nine years of use in 1992 to seven years of use in 1997 to four years of use in 2002.

"Narcotic pain medications are wonders of modern medicine for patients with serious pain who are under the care of physicians," SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie said. "When diverted from their legitimate use, however, they are highly addictive narcotics that the body perceives exactly as if the person were taking heroin."

In 2002, there were about 84,000 admissions to treatment where the primary, secondary or tertiary substance of abuse was a narcotic pain medication. Narcotic pain medications were the primary substance of abuse in about half of these admissions. In the other half, abuse of narcotic pain medications was secondary to abuse of another substance, generally alcohol or heroin.

In 1992, five states had admission rates for narcotic pain medications of 24 or more per 100,000 population age 12 or older. This increased to 11 states with admission rates that high in 1997. By 2002, 31 states had narcotic pain medication admission rates of 24 or more per 100,000 population. In 2002, Maine had the highest rate in the nation, 207 per 100,000.

The report is based on SAMHSA data compiled in the Treatment Episode Data Set. This is a compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admitted for substance abuse treatment.


Heroin DetoxOxycontin Drug AddictionDrug Rehab ProgramRehab ProgramsOxycontin Diversion and AbuseSober Living Prescription Drug Abuse HelpAlcohol TreatmentOxycontin Abuse TreatmentAlcohol Treatment CentersTexas Drug RehabsAlcohol AddictionsRehabilitation CentersResidential Treatment ProgramsDrugs and Alcohol Addiction Help
Cocaine AddictionAlcoholism TreatmentGetting Help With AddictionAlcohol AbuseDrug Addiction Treatment

Find a TherapistDrug Rehab Programs 

Drug Treatment Center

The information provided on the Heroin Detox web site is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Heroin Detox web site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Heroin Detox contains advertisements and links to third party websites. Heroin Detox does not make any representation, warranty, or endorsement of any product or service or the content or accuracy of any materials contained in, or linked to, any advertisement or link on the Site
Call Us Toll Free at 888.471.0430 for Help
© 2001-2007 Heroin Detox