Report Shows Rise in Addiction Treatment Admissions for Meth, Painkillers

Share Article

Primary treatment admissions increased more than ten percent for prescription narcotics and methamphetamine from 2002 to 2003.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released new data showing a significant jump in treatment admissions for both methamphetamine and prescription painkillers, rising 10 and 12 percent, respectively.

The number of people admitted for treatment for methamphetamine addiction increased from 105,754 in 2002 to 116,604 in 2003. There were 43,377 people seeking treatment for prescription narcotic addiction in 2002 and this rose to 48,457 in 2003. This revelation comes on the heals of recent national surveys from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse indicating the dramatic increase in non-medical use of prescription drugs.

The release also mentioned several states reported that methamphetamine accounted for more than 20 percent of their overall treatment admissions. These states were Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, California and Hawaii.

In recent months many states throughout the country have passed legislation to make it more difficult to obtain certain precursors to manufacturing methamphetamine, namely cold medicines containing pseudo ephedrine, by placing them behind the counter at pharmacies and requiring a log of the purchaser’s identification. These actions have significantly reduced the number of methamphetamine lab busts over the past year in states such as Oklahoma, who led the nation by being the first state to pass such a law.

One of the nation’s largest and most successful drug rehabilitation and education facilities is also located in Oklahoma. It’s called Narconon Arrowhead and it uses the effective drug-free rehabilitation methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. The program’s success has spread via word of mouth and supporters and has been consistently helping people overcome substance abuse from all 50 states.

“It’s a shame that it takes an epidemic for people to focus attention on certain drugs being abused,” comments Luke Catton, a supervisor at Narconon Arrowhead, referring to prescription drugs. “We’ve been teaching people about the dangers of all drugs for decades, and many of the drugs that have been used in an attempt to treat other symptoms are now becoming the drug of choice for abuse. All drugs are essentially poisons and they all have side effects. These studies provide that evidence.”

States where at least ten percent of treatment admissions come from prescription painkiller abuse include West Virginia, Tennessee and Maine. On a national scale, approximately 15 million people have abused prescription drugs in the past month.

For more information on drugs and addiction, or to get help for a loved one, contact Narconon Arrowhead today at 1-800-468-6933 or log on to

For more information about the SAMHSA report on treatment admissions visit


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Luke Catton