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The State of Treatment in America


Across the United States, substance abuse and dependence remains a wide-ranging issue. Millions of Americans use illicit drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine, and millions more abuse prescription drugs recreationally. In 2013, every day, 7,800 people on average tried illicit drugs for the first time. Alcohol abuse remains a significant problem as well: In 2011, over 600,000 people went to emergency rooms due to the combined effects of drugs and alcohol.


In a nation rife with drug and alcohol abuse, there’s a substantial demand for services treating substance dependence and addiction. So where do people go when they need to put an end to an unhealthy and dangerous substance problem? Using data from the 2013 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, we’ve charted who’s seeking treatment, which centers provide treatment for various substance problems, and where their substance abuse clients are concentrated across the country. Keep reading to learn more about the state of addiction treatment.

A Decade of Growth in Substance Abuse Treatment



As of 2013, about 1.25 million people were in treatment for substance abuse in the United States, and this number has grown by 14% since 2003. In perspective, the number of clients in treatment is nearly the population of Dallas, Texas. This growth could be related to increased insurance coverage for drug and alcohol rehab programs, making these services more accessible to those with substance problems.


By number of clients, the largest category of treatment is concurrent drug and alcohol abuse. Given that nearly two-thirds of adults report drinking alcohol, substance abusers may often find that one addiction bleeds over into another. This is reflected in the stats: Those who use alcohol heavily are several times more likely to abuse illicit drugs.


The National Landscape of Rehab Clients



When viewed per capita, northeastern states, such as Maine, Vermont, and Connecticut, have some of the nation’s highest proportions of the population in treatment for concurrent drug and alcohol abuse. However, when drug and alcohol abuse are viewed separately, a different picture of substance abuse treatment can be seen. Colorado places first for treatment for alcohol abuse, and the state has some of the nation’s highest levels of alcohol-related deaths. Meanwhile, drug abuse treatment is concentrated in the Northeast, where Rhode Island ranked 13th in the country for drug overdose deaths in 2010.


Substance Use Treatment, State by State



Four northeastern states – Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont – occupy the top five for per-capita substance abuse treatment, along with Colorado. Vermont is in the midst of what its governor has described as a “full-blown heroin crisis,” while Maine likewise struggles to handle a growing heroin problem; heroin is now involved in nearly half of all its drug investigations.

Growth in Clients, But Not in Facilities



Surprisingly, while the number of people in treatment for substance abuse has increased noticeably from 2003 to 2013, the total number of treatment facilities has not substantially changed. While the average treatment facility would have about 80 clients in 2003, those facilities would now treat an average of 88 clients in 2013.

However, one key area of growth has been opiate abuse treatment. As prescription painkiller and heroin abuse exploded across the U.S., facilities offering treatment for addiction to opiates have grown by 20% since 2003.


Detox Treatment by Substance



Reflecting the upswing in opiate abuse, opiate detox treatment is now the most commonly offered treatment in detox facilities: 84.8% of facilities provide opiate detox. Alcohol detox places second, at 64.5%, and benzodiazepines are third, at 57.9%. These numbers sum to greater than 100%, as a given facility may provide more than one type of detox treatment.




We’ve also mapped the percentage of treatment facilities, by state, providing treatment for abuse of different substances. Here, a clear difference can be seen between the availability of treatment for different forms of substance abuse. Facilities providing opiate abuse treatment are relatively commonplace around the nation, including northeastern, southern, midwestern and western states. Cocaine and methamphetamine treatment is most common in midwestern and western states such as South Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho, while treatment for benzodiazepine abuse is most widely available in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Arkansas.


Recovery is One Step Away


No matter the substance, facilities across the United States offer comprehensive rehab and detox services for those looking to recover from addiction and dependence. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse problem, visit today. We can help you find a conveniently located facility offering specialized, professional treatment to meet your needs. Wherever you are, a healthy recovery from substance abuse is possible, and you can start today.




We used the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s 2013 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services and 2013 U.S. Census Bureau state data to calculate each state’s prevalence of clients in treatment overall and for specific substance abuse. The data were also used to chart facilities offering specific substance abuse treatments and the change in the number of these facilities over time.




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