|July 16, 2004|
Marital Status of Women Aged 25-44: 2002
The marital status of female substance abuse treatment admissions can be examined with the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). TEDS includes a Minimum Data Set collected by all States and a Supplemental Data Set collected by some States. "Marital Status," a Supplemental Data Set item, was reported for at least 75 percent of all admissions in 44 States and jurisdictions in 2002.1 These 44 States accounted for about 66 percent of all substance abuse treatment admissions in 2002. Since marital status is associated with age, this analysis is restricted to female admissions between 25 and 44 years old. There were approximately 229,000 admissions in this age group, which represented 18 percent of all admissions in the 44 states and 12 percent of all admissions to TEDS. For purposes of this report, marital status was divided into three categories: never married, currently married, and formerly married. 2
In 2002, 44 percent of female admissions between the ages of 25 and 44 had never been married, 19 percent were currently married, and 37 percent were formerly married (Figure 1). This is quite different from the distribution of marital status among women in this age group in the U.S. population. Data from the 2000 Census3 show that in the Nation as a whole, 21 percent had never been married, 63 percent were currently married, and 16 percent were formerly married.
Female admissions in each of the three marital status categories showed different patterns in primary substance of abuse4 (Figure 2). Alcohol was reported more frequently by currently married and formerly married admissions (39 and 40 percent, respectively) compared with never married admissions (30 percent). The percentage of marijuana admissions was similar for all three groups: 8 percent of never married and currently married admissions were for marijuana, and 7 percent of formerly married admissions were for marijuana.
Never married female admissions reported the use of both cocaine and opiates more frequently than either of the other two groups. Cocaine was the primary substance of abuse of 27 percent of never married admissions compared with 17 percent of currently married admissions and 21 percent of formerly married admissions. Never married female admissions were also more likely to report opiates as the primary substance of abuse (25 percent) compared with currently married admissions (19 percent) and formerly married admissions (15 percent).
Opiate admissions consisted of two classes of drugs, heroin and "other opiates and synthetics."5 The proportions of use within these two groups of drugs differed by marital status. Heroin was the primary substance of 22 percent of never married female admissions compared with 11 percent of currently married admissions and 10 percent of formerly married admissions. Currently married female admissions were more likely to have been admitted for the abuse of other opiates and synthetics (8 percent) compared with formerly married admissions (5 percent) and never married admissions (3 percent).
Currently married female admissions were more likely than formerly married admissions or never married admissions to be first-time admissions (46 percent, 41 percent, and 36 percent, respectively). Never married female admissions (14 percent) were more likely than currently married admissions (8 percent) or formerly married admissions (11 percent) to have had five or more previous admissions for substance abuse treatment.
Source of Referral
Criminal justice referrals accounted for 28 percent of both currently married female admissions and formerly married admissions compared with 24 percent of admissions that had never been married (Figure 3). Formerly married female admissions were slightly less likely to be self- or individual referrals (37 percent) compared with currently married admissions (39 percent) and never married admissions (40 percent). Never married female admissions were more likely to have been referred by drug and alcohol abuse counselors (12 percent) than currently married admissions (8 percent) or formerly married admissions (10 percent). However, there was no substantial difference among the three groups in the percentage of admissions referred by other types of health providers. There was no difference among the three marital status categories in the proportion referred by community sources (15 percent each).
Admissions in the three marital status categories differed in employment status. Twenty-nine percent of currently married female admissions were employed (full- or part-time) compared with 24 percent of formerly married admissions and 19 percent of admissions that had never been married. Never married female admissions were more likely to be looking for work (45 percent) compared with formerly married admissions (39 percent) and currently married admissions (33 percent). There was no substantial difference among the three groups in the percentage of admissions that were not in the labor force.
1 In 2002 these states were: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WV, and WY.
2 Formerly married includes divorced, separated, and widowed.
3 U.S. Census Bureau; "Marital Status of People 15 Years and Over, by Age, Sex, Personal Earnings, Race, and Hispanic Origin, March 2000;" published June 29, 2001,
4 The primary substance of abuse is the main substance reported at the time of admission.
5 Other opiates and synthetics include codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Dilaudid, morphine, Demerol, opium, and other drugs with morphine-like effects. This category consists almost entirely of prescription painkillers.
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