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2007 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Marijuana Stats

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator April 1, 2009

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, is the Federal Government’s lead agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment, and mental health services in the United States. They have released the results of their 2007 Treatment Episode Data Set, or TEDS, showing the National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services. Let’s take a look at the statistics for marijuana, shall we?

    50% increase in marijuana treatment admissions in one decade

    50% increase in marijuana treatment admissions in one decade

    In 1997, about 200,000 people checked into treatment for marijuana. By 2005, that number has risen to over 300,000 people, though it has tapered off a bit these last couple of years. By any account, this is a huge rise in the number of people seeking rehab for marijuana in just a decade. It would seem like the powerful new “Not Your Father’s Woodstock Weed” has given rise to a 50% increase in reefer addicts!

    Only 16% of marijuana "addicts" admit themselves to treatment

    Only 15% of marijuana "addicts" admit themselves to treatment

    However, when you look behind the numbers, you find that this increase has more to do with the rapid increase of drug courts in the late ’90s, early ’00s. By far, most of the people who are in treatment for marijuana are forced there! 57% are forced into treatment by the criminal justice system, while only 15% admitted themselves to treatment. For comparison’s sake, over all drugs combined, 1/3rd of all admissions are self-admissions, marijuana is the drug with the lowest self-admission rates (lower than meth) and highest criminal justice-admission rates (higher than meth), and for alcohol, self-admission is around 29% and criminal justice (including DUI) admissions are only 42.5%.

    2007_teds-31

    37% of all people admitted for marijuana rehab didn't even use marijuana in the past month.

    Even more interesting is a look at the actual substance use of the people admitted to treatment. Almost 4 out of ten marijuana smokers who are in treatment haven’t even used marijuana in thirty days! Again, for comparison, only 1 out of 4 alcohol admissions didn’t drink in the past month, and the number is only 1 in 6 for heroin.

    Another interesting figure: almost 58% of marijuana admissions are first-time admissions to drug treatment, a number that seems suspisciously close to the 56.9% of admissions from criminal justice. That’s the highest first-time figure of all the common drugs (marijuana, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and meth). Of those drugs, marijuana and alcohol are the only ones where the majority of drug treatment admissions are not returns to treatment. Also, 31% of marijuana users in treatment are employed, a number twice that of heroin or cocaine admissions, but lower than the 42.5% of employed alcohol users in treatment.

    Marijuana rehab is almost exclusively aimed at people under 25

    Marijuana rehab is almost exclusively aimed at people under 25

    Finally, 3/4ths of marijuana rehabbers are male, half are white, 2/3rds are under age 25. Marijuana has the lowest average age of admittance (24 years old), with all other drugs but inhalants and hallucinogens having average ages in the 30’s. The average alcohol or crack cocaine rehabber is 39 years old.

    While we certainly prefer any marijuana smoker caught by law enforcement to be sent to rehab rather than jail, the sentencing of people to rehab who don’t really need it means we are wasting resources that could be better directed to the unfulfilled needs of hard drugs addicts. If alcohol and crack’s average rehab age was closer to 20 than to 40, how much time, money, and misery would we save in this country?

    Instead we arrest mostly young people for their marijuana use, then sentence them to rehab, then cite the increasing numbers of young people in rehab for marijuana as proof of the increasing danger of marijuana, which is then used to justify arresting more mostly young people for their marijuana use.

    64 Responses to “2007 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Marijuana Stats”

    1. JohnA says:

      Hey, President Obama! Hey, Tax-Man it aint funny no more.

      ” Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch SMOKING a pipe of sweet HEMP, and playing my Hohner harmonica” . —–President Abraham Lincoln

      “Make the most you can of the Indian HEMP seeds and Sow it everywhere”.———-President George Washington

      “We shall, by and by want a world of HEMP more for our own CONSUMPTION”.———-John Adams

      Hey, President Obama and you a Constitutional Lawyer? It aint funny.

      “PROHIBITION….goes beyond the bound of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A PROHIBITION LAW strikes a blow at the very PRINCIPLES upon which our government was founded”.———————-President Abraham Lincoln

      Hey, President Obama we aint laughing no more!

      “HEMP is first necessity to the WEALTH & PROTECTION of the Country”.———President Thomas Jefferson

      Hey, President Obama Constitutional Lawyer dig this: “If the words “LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS” dont include the right to experiment with your own Consciousness, then the DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE isnt worth the HEMP it was written on”———Terence McKenna

      Hey, President Obama is there more money to be made in the “DRUG WAR’?

      “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one Marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.——-President Ronald Reagan

      Hey, President Obama there aint nothing funny no more!

    2. Bern says:

      This appears to be that the “AA Curse” is going into the average Mary Jane smoker. Force them into rehab; admit that they have no control; provide self help wrap in a blanket that Gen-Pop and the holier than thou can respect; rinse, spin and repeat. We see numbers all the time but until someone over the age of 60 says it is okay to end the “War on Drugs…drugs…drugs” it will not matter.

      /someone did (new window)?

    3. Ed says:

      The government loves to use faulty statistics to justify their policies.

      People in general don’t read into it and just take their word as a fact. I’ve heard plenty of people say that marijuana is a gateway drug but never show any evidence whatsoever other than “the government said so.”

      In reality though, the government should give only facts and promote the truth, not their own propaganda. It’s a disgrace to this country.

    4. McDuffee420 says:

      No there is not anything funny!!!!!

      #1 respondent you rule

      Time for real change,our generation,our time

      copy and pasted from #1

      Hey, President Obama! Hey, Tax-Man it aint funny no more.

      ” Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch SMOKING a pipe of sweet HEMP, and playing my Hohner harmonica” . —–President Abraham Lincoln

      “Make the most you can of the Indian HEMP seeds and Sow it everywhere”.———-President George Washington

      “We shall, by and by want a world of HEMP more for our own CONSUMPTION”.———-John Adams

      Hey, President Obama and you a Constitutional Lawyer? It aint funny.

      “PROHIBITION….goes beyond the bound of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A PROHIBITION LAW strikes a blow at the very PRINCIPLES upon which our government was founded”.———————-President Abraham Lincoln

      Hey, President Obama we aint laughing no more!

      “HEMP is first necessity to the WEALTH & PROTECTION of the Country”.———President Thomas Jefferson

      Hey, President Obama Constitutional Lawyer dig this: “If the words “LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS” dont include the right to experiment with your own Consciousness, then the DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE isnt worth the HEMP it was written on”———Terence McKenna

      Hey, President Obama is there more money to be made in the “DRUG WAR’?

      “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one Marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.——-President Ronald Reagan

      Hey, President Obama there aint nothing funny no more!

    5. Rudedog says:

      Its A Freaking Meat Grinder!! Its A Self FEEDING lie! This Law Sucks In People,And Spits Out……WTF!

      Im so sick of the lies washington forces down our throats, on this issue straight to my lost 60g ayear job and lost 401k. Its one lie after another on and on..!

    6. Vladimir says:

      Have the Goverment forgetten about how we overcame the crisis of WWII
      TAX IT….MR. PRESIDENT!!!!
      Dont let this get out of hand!!!
      Stop Killing My People!! >:0

    7. Mike H. says:

      The anti-pot “warriors” always cite the percentage of people admitted to rehab for marijuana use as proof of marijuana’s “addictiveness”. They fail to cite that the majority of those people are forced to go for treatment.

    8. Neil says:

      IF YOU smoke that refeer your ARE GONNA die period! Look up the statistics folks! Marijuana leads to
      blindness, insanity, homosexuality, male to male bonding, female to female bonding, general anxiety, explosion of the lung and colon, smaller testicales. All kinds of stuff (sarcasm cough cough).
      Just don’t do it folks! You might die from it. The
      safer alternative is prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco! Stick to your whiskey and cigarettes. Marijuana
      is just BAD BAD.. JUST SAY NO! IT WORKS (SARCASM)

    9. BRODY says:

      My fellow Americans, children of logic, and defenders of truth.

      It has been said before, many times, and with just cause the time is now. This time we have the boulder moving and must not let it stop. This push is sustainable. If we can now band together in one coherent, logical voice of reason I am confident that we can make an important change and obliterate the tyranny that manifests itself as our current national drug policy.

      The battle is not being fought on the hill or in the presidential cabinet. It is being fought around the dinner table, in the streets, on blogs, and in your local newspapers.

      Our common enemies are lies, false morality, lobbyists, and ignorance.

      Our weapons are truth, intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom.

      For the first time since the era of Anslinger we are the many, and they are the few. Our enemies will try to sway those on the ledge, and fortify the opinions of the already brain washed and zealots who hold false moral high ground.

      It is every one of our duties to educate ourselves like never before. To know the facts, and the gods honest truth. To finally take our own high ground, and to do it with honesty and righteousness.

      For every lie we must have fact. For every false report we must have a non biased source. We will fight them at home. We will fight them at work. We will fight them in the paper and on the blogs. We can not let one fallacy go unchecked. We can not let ourselves be tempted by their tactics. We must be truthful and correct about every point we make, every fact we state.

      Arm yourselves with knowledge. Protect yourself with wisdom. We shall not falter. Not this time. Marijuana will be legalized. To many lives have been ruined. To many are at stake. The revenue to be gained is to great.

      God Speed.

    10. Jason says:

      I think that last bar graph needs to go all green.
      No Alcohol, Heroin, crack, coke, or Meth. All Marijuana for all ages.

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