Pennsylvania Drug Rehabs

Prevalence of Illicit Substance and Alcohol Use in Pennsylvania

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) generates state-level estimates for 23 measures of substance use and mental health problems for four age groups: the entire state population over the age of 12 (12+); individuals age 12 to 17; individuals age 18 to 25; and individuals age 26 and older (26+). Since state estimates of substance use and abuse were first generated using the combined 2002–2003 NSDUHs and continuing until the most recent state estimates based on the combined 2005–2006 surveys, Pennsylvania’s rates of past month and past year marijuana use have generally been at or above the national rates. Rates of past year use of an illicit drug other than marijuana as well as the nonmedical use of pain relievers, however, have generally been at or below the national rates.

Drug Abuse and Dependency in Pennsylvania

Questions in NSDUH are used to classify persons as being dependent on or abusing specific substances based on criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

Across all survey years, rates of past year drug dependence for Pennsylvania’s State population age 12 and older have been among the lowest2 in the country.

Rates of past year alcohol dependence have also been at or below the national rates, and in 2005–2006 were among the lowest in the country for the age 12 and older population.

Addiction Treatment in Pennsylvania

State treatment data for substance use disorders are derived from two primary sources—an annual one-day census in N-SSATS and annual treatment admissions from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS).4 In the 2006 N-SSATS survey, Pennsylvania showed a one1-day total of 44,349 clients in addiction treatment, the majority of whom (39,286 or 89%) were in outpatient addiction treatment. Of the total number of clients in addiction treatment on this date, 2,660 (6%) were under the age of 18.

Across the last 14 years, there has been a steady decline in the number of admissions mentioning alcohol (82% vs. 55%) and a concomitant increase in the percent of admissions mentioning heroin (9% vs. 24%).

Across the years for which TEDS data are available, Pennsylvania has seen a substantial shift in the constellation of problems present at addiction treatment admission. Alcohol-only admissions have declined from 38 percent of all admissions in 1992, to 22 percent in 2005. Concomitantly, drug-only admissions have increased from 18 percent in 1992, to 44 percent in 2005.

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Unmet Need for Substance Abuse Treatment in Pennsylvania

NSDUH defines unmet addiction treatment need as an individual who meets the criteria for abuse of or dependence on illicit drugs or alcohol according to the DSM-IV, but who has not received specialty addiction treatment for that problem in the past year.

In Pennsylvania, the rate of unmet drug addiction treatment need has been among the lowest in the country across all survey years.

Rates of unmet need for alcohol addiction treatment in Pennsylvania have generally also been at or below the nation rates, and in 2005–2006 were among the 10 lowest in the country.