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Highlights From DAWN: Philadelphia, 2002

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2004
4 pages
This DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) report presents data on the number and types of drug-related visits to 26 hospitals in the Philadelphia metropolitan area in 2002.
Currently hospitals in the Philadelphia area and 20 other metropolitan areas participate in the DAWN network, as they follow standard procedures for keeping records on cases that have involved medical treatment for drug abuse. Of the nearly 1.9 million visits to the emergency departments (ED's) of the 26 Philadelphia DAWN hospitals in 2002, approximately 1 percent (27,753) were related to drug abuse. The most common drugs involved in these ED visits were cocaine (12,437); alcohol in combination with other drugs (9,921); marijuana (6,787); heroin (4,918); and benzodiazepines (4,312). Between 1995 and 2002, the rate of marijuana-related ED visits increased 124 percent in Philadelphia, from 67 to 150 visits per 100,000 population; there was a 48-percent increase from 2000 to 2002. Compared with the 20 other DAWN areas, Philadelphia ranked near the top in 2002 ED visits that involved marijuana, cocaine, and benzodiazepines. In 2002 Philadelphia had 274 cocaine-related visits per 100,000 population, more than 3 times the national rate. Cocaine-related ED visits in Philadelphia remained stable from 1995 to 2002. Of Philadelphia's cocaine-related ED visits in 2002, 71 percent involved other drugs. "Crack" was involved in 22 percent of the cocaine-related ED visits in 2002. Between 1995 and 2002, the rate of marijuana-related ED visits increased 124 percent, from 67 to 150 visits per 100,000 population; from 2000 to 2002, the increase was 48 percent. At 109 visits per 100,000 population in 2002, Philadelphia's rate of heroin-related ED visits was close to 3 times the national rate of 36. From 1995 to 2002, ED mentions of benzodiazepines in Philadelphia increased 38 percent, from 69 to 95 mentions. Four figures compare Philadelphia's 2002 rates of ED visits for cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and benzodiazepines with the other 20 DAWN metro areas.