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More people seek help for painkiller abuse

Posted - Jul. 23, 2004 at 3:40 p.m.



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WASHINGTON, Jul 23, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The treatment rate for people who abuse narcotic painkillers more than doubled from 1992 to 2002, a U.S. health agency reported Friday.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report, "Treatment Admissions Involving Narcotic Painkillers 2002 Update," said in 1992 the rate at which people sought treatment at a healthcare facility for painkiller abuse in the United States was at 14 per 100,000 people, but by 2002 it had increased to 35 per 100,000.

The report showed in 1992, five states had admission rates for narcotic pain medications of 24 or more per 100,000 people age 12 and older. That increased to 11 states in 1997 and 31 states in 2002.

In 2002 Maine had the highest rate in the nation, 207 treatment admissions for painkiller abuse per 100,000 people.

The statistics comes from a compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admitted to a facility for substance abuse treatment.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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