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Rehab as a treatment for addiction has been around for a long time. However, as our knowledge of health and drugs has grown over time, our understanding around rehab also evolved. Over time, we have seen a lot of change in how rehab treatments are performed and managed, as well as how we determine success.
Treatments and admissions to rehab centers are also affected by changing beliefs and standards. The legalization of marijuana in some states and the change in medical circles towards opiate-based painkillers will affect future trends for those substances.
If you want to know more about the direction that rehab treatments and centers are trending, here are some helpful statistics about rehab.
Table of Contents
- Main substance used at the time of admission to rehab
- Trends in rehab center admissions
Main Substance Used at the Time of Admission to Rehab
One trend that has been changing is the primary substance of addiction that causes people to seek rehab. In 2017 there was a survey performed by the Department of Health and Human Services found the following substances were the most frequently reported by addicts entering rehab:
- Opiates – 34 percent
- Alcohol – 29 percent
- Marijuana – 13 percent
- Stimulants – 12 percent
- Cocaine – 5 percent
These substances accounted for around 93% of all rehab admissions, with the rest being made up of multiple less commonly used substances. Opiates and alcohol take up the majority of substances that people are addicted to when they seek rehab treatment.
However, what those percentages do not tell you is how each substance has been trending relative to each other over time. Let’s look at the above substances on a case by case basis using the same survey linked above.
There are two main subcategories of drugs within the opiate family: heroin and non-heroin opiates.
- In 2007, 14% of people being admitted for rehab treatment reported heroin as the primary substance they abused.
- In 2017, that number has increased to 27%.
- Of the above group of addicts that were admitted for rehab, the average age was 36 years old.
- Caucasian Americans made up roughly two-thirds of the people who sought rehab for heroin use, by far the largest ethnic group.
The trend for non-heroin opiates has a slightly different arc:
- The percentage of people who were admitted to rehab centers as non-heroin opiates as their primary substance of abuse increased from 5% in 2007 to 10% in 2012 but declined down to 7% in 2017.
- The average age was 35 years old.
- Caucasian Americans account for almost 80% of this group.
The trend for alcohol rehabilitation has been trending down over the last decade as the primary substance of abuse reported by addicts on admission.
- The rate was around 40% in 2007 and dropped down to 29% in 2017.
- The average age for this group is around 39 to 40 years old.
- Around 63 percent of the group are caucasian.
As social and legal beliefs around marijuana use have become more relaxed in some states, there has been a decrease in admissions for marijuana addiction.
- The peak of marijuana rehab admissions over the past 10 years was at 19% in 2010 but has steadily dropped to 13% as of 2017.
- The average age of this group is younger at 27 years old.
- Caucasians account for 42 percent of the group, African Americans account for 31%, and Hispanics for 20%.
- In 2007 13% of admissions reported cocaine as their primary substance of abuse, and it has dropped to 5% as of 2017.
- The average age of the group is at 44 years old.
- with African Americans accounting for 51% of the group compared to 35% Caucasians and 8% Hispanic.
The second major substance that has seen an increase of rehab admissions is methamphetamines.
- Methamphetamines accounted for 8% of all rehab admissions in 2007 and have risen to 12% as of 2017.
- The average age for the group is 34 years old.
- Caucasians make up 64% of this group, with 20% coming from a Hispanic background, and 6% from an African American background.
Trends in Rehab Center Admissions
What substances caused people to seek rehab treatments does not give a very clear picture of the state of rehabilitation trends, however. It is also important to keep in mind the kinds of treatment people are seeking, the length of their stay, the reasons for being discharged, and more.
This data is very helpful in seeing the direction that rehab treatment is heading, especially as the substances that people are addicted to now has changed. Here are some rehab statistics and trends to give you an idea of where things are headed.
Types of Treatment Service
In 2017, there were 1,661,207 total discharges from rehab treatment centers. Here is a breakdown of what kinds of treatment the clients were being discharged from:
- Outpatient treatment – 39%
- Detoxification – 18%
- Intensive outpatient treatment – 13%
Meanwhile, of those discharges from rehab, here is a breakdown of the documented reasons for the discharge:
- Completed treatment – 41%
- Dropped out of treatment – 26%
- Transferred to further treatment – 22%
Treatment Completion by Type of Treatment Service
Of the group of people that completed treatments, here is a breakdown of the completion rate by the individual rehab service type:
- Hospital residential treatment – 66% completion
- Detoxification – 64% completion
- Short-term residential treatment – 53% completion
- Medication-assisted opioid detoxification – 44% completion
- Medication-assisted opioid therapy – 13% completion
Length of Stay at Rehab Center
The median length of stay at a rehab treatment center for different services and substances can vary by quite a lot. Here is a breakdown of the median length of stay by type of treatment service from admission to discharge (any reason):
- Outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy – 90 days
- Non-intensive outpatient treatment – 78 days
- Intensive outpatient treatment – 42 days
- Long-term residential treatment – 39 days
- Medication-assisted opioid detoxification – 5 days
Demographics of Admissions
Here is a breakdown of the various demographic groups that were admitted to rehab centers and how they are trending:
- Gender: Males represented 67% of admissions in 2007 but dropped to 64%
- Teenagers: Dropped from 14% of those admitted to rehab in 2007 down to 7% in 2017.
- Adults: Ages 25 to 34 years made up 26% in 2007 and rose to 35% by 2017,
- Seniors: The proportion of admissions for ages 50+ rose from 11% to 18% between 2007 and 2017.
Conclusions to Draw for 2019 Trends
Based on all the above statistics and the way they are trending, we can make the following observations:
- The proportion of addicts being admitted to rehab are increasingly using opiates such as heroin, as well as methamphetamines.
- The proportion of addicts being admitted for alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine has been declining.
- Outpatient rehab treatments are the most commonly used forms of rehabilitation being sought and are increasingly being combined with medication assistance.
- The demographic groups that are seeing the largest rise in admissions to rehab are adults and seniors, and women.