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Treatment Programs Admitting More Patients Addicted to Painkillers

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Five percent of all individuals in addiction treatment programs are primarily addicted to prescription drugs, up from just 1 percent in 1997, HealthDay News reported March 17.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) said in its Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) 2007 report that of 1.8 million treatment admissions studied, 40 percent of patients had alcohol as their primary drug of abuse. About 16 percent were admitted for marijuana use, while 14 percent were addicted to heroin and 8 percent were addicted to methamphetamines/amphetamines.

Alcohol admissions declined from 50 percent to 40 percent between 1997 and 2007, the TEDS report noted, while admissions for marijuana and heroin have remained roughly the same in recent years.

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