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New National Study Shows that More than 1 in 5 Young Adults Need Treatment for Alcohol or Illicit Drug UseStudy also shows that less than 1 in 10 young adults needing this treatment receive it
Nearly 7 million Americans aged 18 to 25 were classified as needing treatment in the past year for alcohol or illicit drug use according to a new national study. The study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also shows that 93 percent of these young adults did not receive the help they needed at a specialty treatment facility. These levels have remained relatively stable since 2002.
The study also showed that the vast majority (96 percent) of young adults needing, but not receiving specialized treatment for these substance use problems did not perceive their need for help. Even among the 4 percent of young adults who thought they needed specialized help in the past year, but who had not received it – less than one third (32.2 percent) made any attempt to get treatment.
“Substance use disorders are preventable and treatable yet we continue as a Nation to allow the lives of 1 in 5 young people and their families be torn apart by substance abuse,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator, Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. “As a nation we must redouble our efforts to prevent substance abuse in the first place and ensure treatment is available to those in need.”
Among young adults, 17.2 percent needed treatment for alcohol disorders in the past year, 8.4 percent for illicit drug disorders and 4.4 percent for a combination of alcohol and illicit drug disorders.
The report reveals substantial differences among young adults receiving specialized treatment in terms of their medical health insurance coverage. Young adults covered by Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were more than three times as likely to receive treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use in a specialty facility as were their counterparts with private insurance (13.2 percent versus 4.0 percent). Young adults without insurance or with other forms of insurance also received treatment at higher levels than those with private insurance (10.6 percent and 8.7 percent respectively).
The full report is available online at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k9/157/YoungAdultsDrugTxt.cfm . Copies may also be obtained free of charge by calling SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) or at http://ncadistore.samhsa.gov/catalog/productDetails.aspx?ProductID=18140. For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/ .
SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health services delivery system.
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