Understanding the geographic variations in impact on different population groups in the USA has become particularly necessary in light of the extreme increase in the use and misuse of street drugs including heroin and the subsequent rise in opioid-related deaths in the USA.
Treatment admissions data provide indicators of the health consequences of drug use and their impact on the treatment system (NIDA 2014). Eleven of the 12 NDEWS Sentinel Community Epidemiologists (SCEs) were able to provide the NDEWS Coordinating Center with 2015 treatment admissions data from their local sources; Atlanta Metro was the only site with no available data on 2015 treatment admissions. Note that the definition of the populations covered by each local treatment data source varies; however, the majority are based on admissions to programs receiving public funds.
NSDUH is an ongoing survey addressing substance use and mental health issues among the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 years or older. For this report the estimates from 2 time periods, 2010-2012 and 2012-2014, are compared. Although information on a wide variety of drugs is collected by NSDUH, substate estimates are only available for a subset of drug categories. See the NSDUH report here.
The Special Testing and Research Laboratory’s Emerging Trends Program compiled the data for this report through a query of archived seizure and analysis information from drug evidence analyzed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s laboratory system. This data is representative of drug evidence seized and analyzed in the reported time frame.
The Community Drug Early Warning System (CDEWS), funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), provides timely information about emerging drug use in criminal justice populations in local communities by collecting and re-testing urine specimens already obtained and tested for a limited panel of drugs by criminal justice testing programs. CDEWS or local staff sample specimens that are ready to be discarded and send them de-identified to an independent laboratory for testing for an expanded panel of drugs.