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Highlights From DAWN: Boston, 2002

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2003
4 pages
This document discusses findings on drug abuse in the Boston metropolitan area for 2002.
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) focuses on metropolitan areas to reveal emerging drug problems before they become widespread. DAWN detects new drugs, new drug combinations, new health consequences of drug use, and changing patterns involving old drugs. Communities can use this information to plan, target resources, and act more effectively. Of the approximately 1.6 million visits to Boston area emergency departments (ED's) in 2002, about 1 percent (17,965) were related to drug abuse. During 2002, the most common drugs involved in these ED visits were alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and benzodiazepines. More than three-quarters of cocaine-related visits involved other drugs, most frequently alcohol or marijuana. Boston had one of the highest rates of marijuana-related ED visits among the 21 DAWN metropolitan areas. ED visits involving marijuana usually involve other drugs as well. In more than half of heroin-related ED visits, heroin was the only drug reported. Clonazepam, alprazolam, and lorazepam were the most frequently named benzodiazepines in drug abuse-related ED visits in Boston. From 1995 to 2002, the rate of drug abuse-related ED visits remained relatively stable in Boston. Among the 21 DAWN areas, Boston has ranked consistently in the top 2 for ED visits involving benzodiazepines and drug abuse in every year since 1995.