NORML.ORG – Criminal Justice Referrals Driving Pot ‘Treatment’ Admissions, Ten-Year Federal Analysis Finds

Rockville, MD: The percentage of individuals admitted into drug treatment programs for their use of marijuana increased from 13.5 percent of all admissions in 1999 to 18 percent of all admissions in 2009, according to statistics compiled by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The percentage change is similar to the proportional increase in marijuana arrests reported over the same period of time. According to SAMHSA, over 56 percent of those admitted to drug treatment for marijuana were referred by the criminal justice system. Only 15 percent of those admitted into treatment for marijuana were self-referred. By contrast, 38 percent of those admitted to drug or alcohol treatment for the use of substances other than marijuana were referred by the criminal justice system and 33 percent were self-referred. Eighty-seven percent of those in treatment for marijuana had been arrested in the 30 days prior to their admissions. SAMHSA reported that 74 percent of those admitted to treatment for marijuana were male and 48 percent were non-Hispanic whites. The average age of those admitted to treatment for cannabis was 24. Between 1999 and 2009, the annual reported number of marijuana arrests rose from just over 700,000 to nearly 860,000 — an increase of almost 20 percent. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org . Additional information on marijuana treatment admission data is available from NORML here: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=8198 . Full text of the report, “Treatment Episode Data Sets (TEDs) 1999-2009: National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services,” is available online at: http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/teds09/teds2k9nweb.pdf .

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NORML.ORG – Criminal Justice Referrals Driving Pot ‘Treatment’ Admissions, Ten-Year Federal Analysis Finds

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