A new US report shows that from 1999 to 2009 (the most recent year with available figures) substance abuse treatment admissions among those 12 and older have gone up for cases involving alcohol, opiates and marijuana.

The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that one of the most notable shifts that occurred in this period was in the rise of opiate admissions attributable mostly to prescription drugs — from 8% of all opiate admissions in 1999 to 33% in 2009.

“These data underscore the severity of our Nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic and the importance of public awareness regarding the harms caused by drug use.” comments Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “All of us share the responsibility to address our Nation’s drug problem by working collaboratively at the Federal, state, and local level to prevent drug use before it starts, expand access to drug treatment, and support enforcement efforts that disrupt the diversion of prescription drugs.”

SAMHSA – June 24, 2011.

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