U.S. adult rate of prescription pain reliever abuse dropped

Jan. 31, 2014 at 7:20 PM
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ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Some U.S. behavioral health is improving -- the rate of prescription pain reliever abuse dropped, and more are getting off of heroin, health officials say.

A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found from 2007 to 2011, the rate of prescription pain reliever abuse dropped in U.S. adults ages 18 to 25 from 12 percent to 9.8 percent and in U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 from 9.2 percent to 8.7 percent.

SAMHSA's report, the National Behavioral Health Barometer, provides data about key indicators of behavioral health problems including rates of serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, underage drinking, and the percentages of those who seek treatment for these disorders for the country and each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The data in the report was collected from various federal surveys and provides both a snapshot of the current status of behavioral health nationally and by state, and trend data on some key behavioral health issues.

The report also said the number of people getting buprenorphine treatment for a heroin addiction increased 400 percent from 2006 to 2010. Similarly, the number of people getting outpatient behavioral health treatment through Medicare increased by more than 30 percent from 2006 to 2010.

"The report is a dynamic new tool providing important insight into the 'real world' implications of behavioral health issues in communities across our nation," Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA's administrator, said in a statement.

"Unlike many behavioral health reports, its focus is not only on what is going wrong in terms of behavioral health, but what is improving and how communities might build on that progress."

The report is at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/States_In_Brief_Reports.aspx.

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