2007 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Marijuana Stats

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?

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!

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%.

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.

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.

0 thoughts

  1. Great job on the research and analysis of these numbers hope you guys can get these kind of statistics more into the public eye keep up the good work,its greatly appreciated!!

  2. we are getting so tired of especially you tobacco using, alcohol consumin, moral preachin, wife beatin mother f-ers out their, try some cannabis indica. you’ll consume less of your own vices no doubt and be a more balanced human being because of it.
    can you guys believe the scientific study these assclown prohibitionists site from the BRAINDEAD reagan era?
    some evil scientists pretty much gased to death two poor monkeys. wow what a trip it must have been for them to be derprived oxygent and forced to inhale 200 freakin j’s worth of cannabis all at once. insane. may their ashes rest in peach.
    One decades-old study continues to fuel claims that cannabis use causes cerebral damage. Two unwitting rhesus monkeys were exposed to 200 times the normal human dose of THC, administered through a constant cloud of smoke. However, in a more recent study, rhesus monkeys exposed to the equivalent of five cannabis cigarettes per day for seven months (what would be termed heavy chronic use in an adult human) showed no signs of cerebral abnormalities, discrediting claims attached to the older study.[10]
    just as IOWA became the 3rd state to end the prohibition on Marriage inequality…one by one the cookies will crumble and this ridiculous national prohibition on HEMP an CANNABIS will be made an amendment. we need an amendment NOW obama.
    spend my tax payer dollars wisely and AMEND the constitution NOW mr obama. lift the prohibition on Cannabis, Hemp, & Marriage CHOICE now obama. the earth is 4 billion years old. LOOK at the trends my friend.

  3. Quite a vicious cycle there, eh? BTW Russ, great graphs, dude! I remember signing up for MJ rehab about 12 years ago out of pressure by the law, only to end up not going, when I realized I didn’t have to. I don’t guess there’s any stat category for that though, heh-heh

  4. people go to change.org Obama has a petion and needs 3000 signatures for him to go further with this issue c’omon we can do it im tired of not bein able to find it or where do i go next to get it? I want it as easy as cigs i mean c’mon pple its a plant and so is tobacco lets do it

  5. ppl go to change.org obama has a petion and needs 3000 signatures for him to bring this issue up and go further LETS DO IT PPLE under care2.com

  6. JohnA, I’m just reporting what California NORML’s Dale Gieringer sent to me once when I used those quotes:
    This quote is apocryphal. According to Michael Aldrich, it was begun many years ago by Ron Siegel, based on a story told him by a musician. Michael had Markus Storz check up on it at the Hohner company museum in Germany. Turns out that Hohner didn’t start selling harmonicas in the US until after Lincoln was dead, years later. Sorry to bust this great story, too bad it isn’t true!
    “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” -Abraham Lincoln
    This quote is also apocryphal. It was invented by Georgia anti-prohibitionists long after Lincoln’s death to stir up support among blacks.
    It was investigated by a Lincoln scholar at the request of Ollie Steinberg of the Minnesota Grassroots party. Like Mark, he found no record of any speech by Lincoln on the alleged date (Dec 18, 1840).
    I’ve been told that according to the Home Book of Quotations (16th edition), it was fabricated in the 1880s – apparently by anti-Prohibitionists in Atlanta courting the Negro vote. Lincoln was well-known for his temperance sympathies. According to Herbert Asbury’s “The Great Illusion,” he authored a dry law modeled on the Maine law, which was rejected by Illinois voters in a special referendum on June 4, 1855. He was also alleged to have authored and signed a total abstinence pledge in 1846. According to temperance authorities, Lincoln was reluctant to sign the 1862 whiskey tax that helped fund the Civil War, on grounds it would condone the liquor trade. According to a temperance leader who spoke with him on the day of his assassination, Lincoln predicted that the next great question after slavery would be abolition of the traffic in legalized liquor.

  7. Thank you Russ, after your post I looked into it alot further. You have a wonderful wealth of helpful knowledge. Please understand I meant no disrespect. Keep blazin you audio stash I’m a daily listener.

  8. I had to go to rehab to get my job back after I fail a drug test. It was not that I was hooked on marijuana, because for me marijuana is very easy to put down. But it was for a company policy that made me go to rehab, in-order to get my job back. This may be the reason there is a large jump in visits to a rehab for marijuana use, just to get a job back.

  9. This is simply Law Enforcement skewing the statistical data to fit their needs.
    If you don’t think that it’s a concious and deliberate act you believe in the tooth fairy !
    Judges forcing people into treatment is nothing more than his or her opinion being forced down the throats of the general public. That behavior or act is called indoctrination, something Communism uses with great success !
    The problem is:
    Bill Mahar is right; we live in a country where the populous is too uneducated to make a sane and rational decision !
    Maybe Obama might want to reform education next, after a good Health Care Law with a strong Public Option !
    He might want to atart in South Carolina and Mississippi. I believe that they are rated 49 & 50 educationally. A glaring statistic isn’t it. Says a lot about people like Haley Barber and Governor (gone hiking on the Appalachian trail) Sanford. Says a lot about the people too ! I’ll bet that the rain never hits them in the eyes !

  10. I as many of you have used pot on and off for most of my life. I find no problem with it other than the fact that it is against the law. Somehow I have managed to never get busted although have come very close several times. I have to say though that I have known people that could not smoke pot as it completely debilitated them. That is maybe two out of hundreds of people I have smoked with in my life. I have as many stopped pot on many an occasion, primarily for employment reasons with no withdrawal symptoms at all. I did not smoke for about eight years as I worked in a casino where random drug testing is frequent and the pay good so could not take the chance. After leaving the industry I smoked for about a year and enjoyed it very much. I have since quit again as I am seeking employment where drug testing is the norm. It is a shame that I am not allowed the one vice I enjoy as I do not smoke cigs, drink alcohol, or do any other illicit drugs, or even chase wild women any more. I am sure I do not have to explain that it is about big business not the danger of the drug. The government could care less if smoking one joint would kill you. It is about the money. The money in the hands of the alcohol co. Can’t raise hemp in America as it would destroy the cotton industry and the foresting for paper manufacture. and the biggest of all the Pharm industry as many Pharmaceutical products are manufactured from the hemp plant at a much safer (natural) and more economically feasible means than what they use (synthetic production). I just hope I live to see the day that I can legally buy and smoke some pot without looking over my shoulder or worrying about losing my job. Hang in there folks we all know we are right. I do have to add though that I do know that while it is relaxing and enjoyable it does make you temporarily stupid, or as the old timers said all muddled up. Like anything, food, alcohol, sex, fast cars, or money it can be abused. A little common sense and it is a great thing. GOD given, he says so, he also explains about the abuse issue.

Leave a Reply