Huge Need for Alcohol Treatment
Rates of alcohol dependence or abuse in Arkansas have been at or above the Nation’s rates. In 2006, there were 13,692 drug or alcohol treatment admissions in Arkansas. There has been a steady decrease in admissions from recent years of 13,771 admissions in 2005, and 14,005 admissions in 2004 but there is still a great need for treatment in Arkansas. Rates of unmet alcohol treatment need have been more variable than those of unmet drug treatment.
The N-SSATS survey for 2006 in Arkansas showed a one day total of 3,624 clients in treatment. 84% were involved in some form of outpatient treatment. Of the 3,624 clients who were involved in a drug or alcohol rehab program 74 were under the age of 18. Annual numbers of admissions for the abuse of more than one substance have been on the rise. 26% of all admissions in 2006 were for the abuse of at least three substances.
Compared to the admissions of an illicit drug abuse mentioned at the time of admission, alcohol mentioned admissions have ben on a steady decline. Alcohol-only admissions have declined from 39% in 1992 to just over 18% in 2006.
Binge Drinking in Arkansas
Arkansas rates for binge drinking are the same for the Nation average, but these rates are still high. In the age group of 18-35, 18% reported having an addiction to alcohol as well as 8% of people 26 and older. Male rates of alcohol addiction are double the rates of females, and the binge drinking rates among Whites and African Americans are similar but show that African Americans are more likely to abstain from the abuse of alcohol.
Underage drinking in Arkansas is an increasing issue. 11% of people 12-17 years old reported binge drinking. 5% of 6th graders reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and 4% reported binge drinking in the last 2 weeks. Underage drinking rates in Arkansas are higher for the white populations and generally equal for males and females.
Arkansas rates for alcohol liver cirrhosis is slightly lower than the national average at 3.5 per 100,000. Almost 3% of new mothers under 20 years and 4% 21 years and older in Arkansas have reported having 1-2 drinks per week during the last 3 months of pregnancy. The alcohol related crash death rate for 21+ is higher than the national average at 11 per 100,000, and 4 per 100,000 for underage alcohol related crash deaths, which is also higher than the national average. In 2004 there were 11,841 hospital stays for alcohol related conditions, which is second only to tobacco. Hospital stays in Arkansas for alcohol related conditions have remained fairly constant in recent years, constituting for 2.5-2.8% of all discharges. Although treatment admissions for alcohol related issues have decreased by the thousands over the years, there are more admissions for alcohol in Arkansas than any other single substance.