Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology


Behavioral Sciences



First Advisor

Andrea Paiva


Although there has been illicit drug use problems in the United States since the 1960s (Johnston, O'Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2009), the federal government only began collecting data on people seeking substance use treatment in 1992 in order to track the trends of substances being used (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1999). Many of the analysis of the substance use data has focused on national level data, however, states are responsible for their treatment and prevention efforts, therefore examining state level data should play an important role in determining state level responses. The current study focuses on the substance admission trends in Virginia (VA), which saw a steep increase of death by opiates from 1997 to 2003 (Johnston et al., 2009) and again between 2013 and 2015 (Johnston et al., 2009) The substance use patterns were be broken down by age groups, racial groups, and genders from 2000 to 2015. Results show the substance use trends in VA, and how significant changes in admission rates occurred over time for different genders and races. Significant changes occurred differently for each group. These trends could inform prevention and treatment services, as well as future policies. Having knowledge of significant changes provides insight into what substances are becoming more popular in VA specifically.



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