If you are looking for data about drug abuse trends in the Seattle/King County area, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington has many reports on their website.
The report for trends in 2009 includes the following:
-- Marijuana continues as the most common substance identified by youth entering drug treatment. Among adults, marijuana is now the third most common drug mentioned at treatment admission and the number of admissions has doubled over the past decade.
-- Youth Help Line calls about pharmaceutical opioids increased from 1% to 15% of calls from 2001-2009. The most common type of opioid specifically identified is OxyContin.
-- Marijuana is the reason for one in three adolescent calls to the Help Line, consistent with prior years. Adult calls for marijuana represent a smaller portion, slightly less than one in ten calls, also similar to prior years.
-- A chart regarding calls to the Help Line indicates that 33% of calls from teens are about alcohol, 32% are about marijuana, and 15% are about prescription opioids.
-- Another chart regarding the number of emergency department reports by drug in the Puget Sound area shows that alcohol is the primary drug followed by opioids, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
Note: The main reason I focus so much on youth marijuana use and not underage drinking is because I am working to get a handle on how marijuana affects youth in comparison to how it affects adults. As the debate over marijuana policy continues, this type of information can be useful. But, it is also useful to point out that rates of regular alcohol use among teenagers are much higher than marijuana use rates.
For data about youth substance abuse in northeast Seattle, please contact Prevention WINS.