Young People Are Not Getting the Treatment They Need, Even After Overdose

Depressed teenage girl sitting on outdoor staircase

An overdose should be a wake-up call for anyone addicted to opioids, but many young adults are not getting the help they need after these life-threatening crises. According to a recent blog from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 68.9% of individuals aged 13 to 22 did not receive addiction treatment of any kind after surviving an opioid overdose.

Why This Is a Problem

Those who survive an overdose are more likely to die from another one in the future. In 2016, over 4,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 suffered fatal opioid overdoses, and another 7,000 were hospitalized with nonfatal opioid poisoning in 2015. In 2015 alone, opioid addiction also accounted for about 28,000 emergency room visits.

Timely intervention after an opioid overdose is the most effective way to prevent another.

Unfortunately, in a study of more than 3,600 teenagers and young adults, only 29.3% of them received any kind of follow-up treatment. Worse still, less than 2% of these individuals received the current standard of care for addiction treatment.

Behavioral and Medicinal Therapy

The gold standard approach of treatment for opioid addiction includes behavioral health services and treatment with either buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone. This treatment plan acknowledges the fact that opioid addiction rewires the brain and will power alone is not enough to accomplish full and lasting recovery.

Like anyone else with a dangerous addiction, young people need assistance and medical aid to get back on the right track. Nevertheless, young adults are only 10% as likely as those aged 25 and older to get the recommended treatment for opioid use disorder.

How Our Healthcare System Fails the Young

Many people in their teens and early 20s are still receiving pediatric care. Although well-intentioned, their pediatricians may be unfamiliar or inexperienced with diagnosing and treating opioid addiction. In fact, less than 20% of young people in the aforementioned study received a diagnosis of opioid use disorder. Further, doctors who do recognize the problem may still struggle to find treatment facilities that are appropriate for adolescents.

Hope Begins At Decision Point Center

For individuals of all ages, private recovery centers are an effective treatment option. At Decision Point Center, we offer both intervention and treatment for young adults and those who are 18 and older.

We also gear our therapies towards specific drugs and offer a personalized opiate rehab treatment for those who struggle with opiate addiction. With countless tools and unique programs, we give every patient the support they need to get clean and avoid relapse.

If you know someone who could benefit from treatment, or you are looking to get help yourself, please contact our admissions professionals at (844) 292-5010 today.

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