Marijuana Treatment Admissions Increase

Summary of Findings

Highlights:

Marijuana treatment admission rates increased in 41 States between 1993 and 1999.

States reporting 102 admissions or less per 100,000 persons aged 12 or older fell from 91 percent in 1993 to 39 percent in 1999.

In 1999, the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) recorded more than 220,000 admissions for primary marijuana abuse to publicly funded substance abuse treatment. These represented 14 percent of the 1.6 million admissions for alcohol or drug treatment in these facilities, an increase from 7 percent in 1993.

About one third of TEDS marijuana admissions from 1993 to 1999 were aged 12 to 17, and another one third were aged 18 to 25. The criminal justice system was a major factor in treatment entry-57 percent of admissions for treatment of marijuana abuse were the result of a judicial process in 1999 compared with 48 percent in 1993.

For this report, TEDS data were used to calculate marijuana treatment admission rates per 100,000 persons aged 12 or older for each State. Marijuana admission rates more than doubled between 1993 and 1999 in about half of reporting States and increased in all but a few States.

Marijuana Treatment Admission Rates:

In 1993, the treatment admission rate for primary marijuana abuse in the United States was 55 admissions per 100,000 persons aged 12 or older. Three States had rates of 117 per 100,000 or more, and 91 percent of reporting States had rates of 102 per 100,000 or less.

By 1996, the admission rate for primary marijuana abuse in the United States had increased by 65 percent to 91 per 100,000 persons aged 12 or older. Eighteen States had rates of 117 per 100,000 or more.

By 1999, the admission rate for primary marijuana abuse in the United States had increased another 13 percent to 103 per 100,000 persons aged 12 or older. The proportion of reporting States with 102 admissions per 100,000 or less had fallen to 39 percent from 91 percent in 1993.

Marijuana admission rates increased between 1993 and 1999 in all but a few States. Rates increased by 150 percent or more in 10 States and by 100 to 149 percent in another 8 States. Some States with high rates in 1993 had small percentage increases (e.g., Alaska) or even decreases (e.g., Kansas).