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SAMHSA Barometer Tracks Behavioral Health of Americans


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released a new report that highlights important trends in the behavioral health of Americans. 

The report is called the “National Behavioral Health Barometer” and it provides information about indicators of behavioral health issues—serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, underage drinking—and the percentages of people who look for treatment in those areas (SAMHSA, 2014). The information is displayed at the national and state level. 

According to this new Barometer, the behavioral health of the country is slightly improving; more people are getting help and some addiction statistics are decreasing. According to SAMHSA, “the number of people getting buprenorphine treatment for heroin addiction has jumped 400 percent from 2006 to 2010” and “the rate of prescription pain reliever abuse has fallen for both children ages twelve to seventeen and adults ages eighteen to twenty-five from 2007 to 2011” (2014). In addition, the Barometer states that the number of people receiving outpatient behavioral health treatment through Medicaid has increased by over 30 percent from 2006 to 2010 (SAMHSA, 2014). 

The information in the Barometer is drawn from various federal surveys and provides analyses by gender, age, and race/ethnicity wherever possible. To view the National Behavioral Health Barometer, visit the SAMHSA website by clicking here



Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2014). SAMHSA’s new report tracks the behavioral health of America. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1401301041.aspx