D rug and A lcohol S ervices I nformation S ystem

The DASIS Report

March 25, 2005

Polydrug Admissions: 2002

P

olydrug abuse (abuse of more than one substance) is common among alcohol and drug users. The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) provides information on the primary, secondary, and

tertiary substances of abuse reported by persons admitted to treatment in publicly funded facilities.1 Among the 1.9 million TEDS admissions in 2002, polydrug abuse was more common than abuse of a single substance.2
Substance of Abuse

In Brief
● Among polydrug admissions,

alcohol was the most common substance reported (76 percent) substance abuse treatment reported the use of multiple substances (polydrug abuse) more likely to report polydrug abuse than older admissions

● Over half of all admissions to

Among polydrug3 admissions, alcohol was the most common substance reported (76 percent). Marijuana was the second most commonly reported substance (55 percent), followed by cocaine (48 percent), opiates (27 percent), and other drugs (26 percent).
Age

● Younger admissions were

Over half (56 percent) of all admissions to treatment in publicly funded facilities in 2002 reported more than one substance of abuse (Table 1). Younger admissions were more likely to report polydrug abuse than older

The DASIS Report is published periodically by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from SAMHSA. Additional copies of this report or other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are available on-line: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov. Citation of the source is appreciated. For questions about this report please e-mail: shortreports@samhsa.hhs.gov.

DASIS REPORT: POLYDRUG ADMISSIONS: 2002

March 25, 2005

admissions: 65 percent of admissions younger than 20 years old reported polydrug abuse, but only 41 percent of admissions aged 45 or older reported polydrug abuse. The largest drop in polydrug abuse occurred between admissions aged 40 to 44 (53 percent reported abuse of more than one substance) and those aged 45 or older (41 percent) reported abuse of more than one substance.

Table 1. Admissions Reporting Polydrug Abuse, by Age Group: 2002
Number of Admissions Age Group Total Younger than 20 Years 20 to 24 Years 25 to 29 Years 30 to 34 Years 35 to 39 Years (In Thousands) 1,819 220 236 206 252 296 274 335 Percent Reporting Poludrug Use 56% 65% 62% 60% 61% 58% 53% 41%

Substance of Abuse by Age
Polydrug admissions showed varying patterns of substance abuse across age groups. Fifty-four percent of admissions younger than 20 years old reported polydrug abuse involving alcohol, while only 31 percent of admissions 45 or older reported polydrug abuse involving alcohol (Figure 1). Overall, abuse of alcohol with another substance decreased, while abuse of alcohol alone increased, with age. Polydrug admissions involving marijuana were more likely to be reported by younger admissions (60 percent of admissions younger than 20) (Figure 2). This number decreased with age so that, among admissions 45 or older, only 13 percent reported polydrug abuse involving marijuana. Marijuana reported as a single substance of abuse or as part of a polydrug admission dropped sharply as age increased. Admissions involving cocaine polydrug abuse peaked between ages 35 and 39 (37 percent) (Figure 3), increasing from 10 percent of those younger than 20 and then decreasing to 24 percent for those older than 45.

40 to 44 Years 45 Years or Older

Source: 2002 SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS).

Figure 1. Abuse of Alcohol Among All Admissions, by Age Group: 2002
100 80 60 40 20 0 9 <20 16 20-24 19 25-29 20 30-34 Age 24 35-39 42 45 45 43 37 40 39 35 31 28 25 Admissions Not Involving Alcohol Alcohol and Other Substances Alcohol Alone 44 29 40-44 45+

Percent

31

54

44

Figure 2. Abuse of Marijuana/Hashish Among All Admissions, by Age Group: 2002
100 18 80 60 60 40 46 20 22 0 <20 10 20-24 37 30 24 35-39 44 57 Admissions Not Involving Marijuana/ Hashish 86 Marijuana/ Hashish and Other Substances Marijuana/ Hashish Alone 13 45+

67

74

Percent

79

20 40-44

6 25-29 30-34 Age

March 25, 2005

DASIS REPORT: POLYDRUG ADMISSIONS: 2002

Polydrug abuse involving opiates was relatively stable across most age groups (Figure 4). Among admissions aged 25 or older, about 17 percent reported opiates in combination with other substances.

Figure 3. Abuse of Cocaine Among All Admissions, by Age Group: 2002
100 80 60 40 20 10 0 <20 20 20-24 35 37 34 24 6 35-39 6 40-44 45+ 78 69 60 57 60 72

Admissions Not Involving Cocaine Cocaine and Other Substances Cocaine Alone

Prior Treatment
Polydrug admissions were more likely to have had five or more prior treatment admissions compared with single substance admissions (12 vs. 10 percent) and also more likely to have had one to four prior treatment admissions (48 vs. 42 percent). Accordingly, they were less likely to have never been in treatment before (40 vs. 48 percent).
End Notes
1

Percent

89

27

25-29

5 30-34 Age

Figure 4. Abuse of Opiates Among All Admissions, by Age Group: 2002
100 80 60 40 20 0 6 <20 78 92 75 75 76 75 74

Percent

The primary substance of abuse is the main substance reported at the time of admission. Secondary and tertiary substances are other substances of abuse also reported at the time of admission. This report examines treatment admissions for single and multiple substances of abuse (referred to as polydrug abuse). However, it should be noted that TEDS data cannot distinguish between admissions using multiple drugs simultaneously and admissions using multiple drugs at separate times. Polydrug abuse is defined as admissions reporting more than one substance of abuse.

Admissions Not Involving Opiates Opiates and Other Substances

2

15 7 20-24

17 8 25-29

17 8 30-34 Age

17 7 35-39

17 8 40-44

17 9 45+

Opiates Alone

3

The Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS) is an integrated data system maintained by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). One component of DASIS is the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). TEDS is a compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admitted for substance abuse treatment. The information comes primarily from facilities that receive some public funding. Information on treatment admissions is routinely collected by State administrative systems and then submitted to SAMHSA in a standard format. TEDS records represent admissions rather than individuals, as a person may be admitted to treatment more than once. State admission data are reported to TEDS by the Single State Agencies (SSAs) for substance abuse treatment. There are significant differences among State data collection systems. Sources of State variation include completeness of reporting, facilities reporting TEDS data, clients included, and treatment resources available. See the annual TEDS reports for details. Approximately 1.9 million records are included in TEDS each year. The DASIS Report is prepared by the Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA; Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., Arlington, Virginia; and by RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute). Information and data for this issue are based on data reported to TEDS through March 1, 2004. Access the latest TEDS reports at: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/dasis.htm Access the latest TEDS public use files at: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/SAMHDA.htm Other substance abuse reports are available at: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Office of Applied Studies www.samhsa.gov