|April 16, 2004|
Characteristics of Primary Amphetamine Treatment Admissions: 2001
Amphetamines are a class of central nervous system stimulants. Amphetamines, including methamphetamine,1 were the primary substance of abuse in more than 98,000 substance abuse treatment admissions in 2001.2 Methamphetamine-the most common form of amphetamine seen in the United States-was the primary drug of abuse reported in more than 80 percent of these admissions.
Primary amphetamine admissions constituted about 6 percent of the 1.7 million admissions in the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) in 2001. An additional 4 percent of admissions had amphetamines listed as a secondary or tertiary drug of abuse. This report provides an overview of primary amphetamine admissions and compares selected characteristics with those of all other admissions reported to TEDS in 2001.3
TEDS is an annual compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admitted for substance abuse treatment. The data comes primarily from facilities that receive some public funding. TEDS records represent admissions rather than individuals, as a person may be admitted to treatment more than once.
Other Substances of Abuse
While the majority of primary amphetamine admissions reported other substances of abuse at the time of admission (71 percent), 29 percent of primary amphetamine users reported abusing no other substances. The most frequently reported secondary substances among primary amphetamine admissions were marijuana (47 percent), alcohol (36 percent), and cocaine (10 percent).
Route of Administration
Among admissions with amphetamines as a primary substance, the most common route of administration was smoking (44 percent), followed by injection (26 percent) and inhalation (19 percent) (Figure 1).
The average age of primary amphetamine admissions was 30 years old, slightly younger than the average age of admissions for other substances (34 years). About three-quarters of the primary amphetamine admissions initiated use prior to the age of 25 compared with more than 85 percent of admissions for other substances. Both groups had a mean age of first use of 20. The majority of primary amphetamine admissions older than 18 were unemployed (74 percent) at the time of admission,4 a slightly higher proportion than those admitted for other substances (68 percent).
Primary amphetamine admissions were more likely to be female than other admissions (46 vs. 29 percent) (Figure 2). Further, these admissions were more likely to be White (76 vs. 58 percent) and have a high school degree or less (85 vs. 79 percent) than admissions for other substances (Figure 3).
Primary amphetamine admissions were more likely than admissions for other substances to have been referred to treatment by the criminal justice system (48 vs. 34 percent) (Figure 4). Primary amphetamine admissions were less likely to be referred by an alcohol or drug abuse provider (6 vs. 12 percent) or by themselves (26 vs. 36 percent).
Admissions with amphetamines as a primary substance were more likely than admissions for other substances to have no previous treatment episodes (53 vs. 44 percent) and were less likely to have five or more previous treatment episodes (3 vs. 13 percent).
Although primary amphetamine admissions were almost as likely as other admissions to be in an ambulatory service setting (63 vs. 60 percent), they were less likely to be in detoxification (10 vs. 23 percent) and more likely to be in residential/rehabilitative settings (27 vs. 17 percent) (Figure 5).5
1 While most of the States that report data to TEDS list amphetamine and methamphetamine separately, some States do not. For the purposes of this analysis, these two substances have been combined.
2 The primary substance of abuse is the main substance reported at the time of admission.
3 For a previous DASIS Report on amphetamine treatment admissions, see Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. The DASIS Report: Amphetamine treatment admissions increase: 1993-1999. Rockville, MD. November 16, 2001.
4 Unemployed includes those seeking work as well as those considered not to be in the labor force (i.e., retired, student, etc.). Analysis of this variable includes admissions only over the age of 18.
5 Service settings are of three types: ambulatory, residential/rehabilitative, and detoxification. Ambulatory settings include intensive outpatient, non-intensive outpatient, and ambulatory detoxification. Residential/rehabilitative settings include hospital (other than detoxification), short-term (30 days or fewer), and long-term (more than 30 days). Detoxification includes 24-hour hospital inpatient and 24-hour free-standing residential.
This page was last updated on May 16, 2008.