What does this measure?
The number of people from a geographic area (county, city or town) admitted to alcohol/substance abuse treatment centers anywhere in the state, expressed as a rate per 10,000 residents.
Why is this important?
Drinking and drug use increases an individual's risk of poor health outcomes, including motor vehicle crashes and unintentional injuries, and is often a contributing factor in child abuse, domestic violence, suicide and homicide. The availability of treatment can be a critical factor in helping people recover from addiction.
How is our county doing?
Essex had 135 admissions to treatment per 10,000 residents in 2017, down 15% from 2008 but below the state rate of 144. In both Essex and the state, heroin and opioids were the most common primary drug of use for admissions, making up about 55% of all admissions. Alcohol was the next most common primary drug, making up about 34%. Heroin was also the fastest growing category, with admissions increasing 20% to 5,200 in 2017. By contrast, admissions for cocaine treatment declined 60% from 2008 to 2017 to 380.
Marijuana and crack/cocaine admissions were among the lowest rates both state and county-wide, averaging only around 8% of admissions when combined.
Within Essex County, the Town of Andover had the lowest total admission rate (44 per 10,000 residents) in 2017, followed by North Andover (65), Marblehead (70) and Newburyport (83). City of Lynn (221) and Town of Saugus (198) had the highest rates. Within all the towns, heroin and alcohol abuse were the top reasons for admission.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Middlesex, MA had 78 admissions per 10,000 residents, about 57% less than Essex's rate and little changed since 2008. Essex's admission rate for heroin, 67, was far higher than in Middlesex (39) as was its admission rate for alcohol, 46 in Essex compared to 28 in Middlesex. Comparable data was not available for Lake, IL and Westchester, NY.
Notes about the data
The state did not disclose admissions data for some cities/towns and for some substance categories with low numbers, for confidentiality reasons. CGR aggregated local data to produce totals for counties, but the suppression of some small localities or substance categories means that county-level admissions by substance do not sum exactly to total county admissions. National data were not available.