New research finds that the number of substance abuse diagnoses surged from 2001 to 2009. In that time period, substance abuse diagnoses increased by 70 percent, from 10.6 million visits in 2001 and 2003 to 18 million between 2007 and 2009. The increase is likely driven by an increase in prescription drug use since the number of visits including a diagnosis of opioid painkiller abuse increased almost six-fold, from 772,000 to 4.4 million. Despite the alarming increase, researchers point to a “reason for optimism” in the study: the number of medicines prescribed to treat substance abuse (like buprenorphine and methadone) increased from 643,000 people to 3.9 million people. About 25 million total patients received talk therapy during that time period. The study’s lead author told Reuters the results are “a mixed bag that highlights the magnitude of the problem and suggests we’re heading in the right direction” regarding access to treatment.