The National Institute of Health reports that about 1 percent of young people tell about symptoms of abuse or dependence on prescription opioids and they have now estimated that fewer than 12 percent of teens with these problems receive any treatment at all. Dr. Li-Tzy Wu and colleagues at Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from the 2005 to 2008 national Survey on Drug Use and Health so they could learn about treatment use and barriers among teens who abuse prescriptions opioids. They looked at 789 12to 17 year olds who met diagnostic criteria for opioid abuse or dependence, and only 16 to 17 percent had received any substance abuse services or even participated in treatment during the past year. They looked at 999 teens who had one or two dependence symptoms for a disorder 9 percent had gotten help. Help can be found very easily, especially on drug rehab websites.
After looking at all this information they asked teens and the answer they gave were interesting. That did not perceive a need for it. Fewer than 5 percent said they needed help. Of all those spoken to 34 percent said they were not ready to stop using the drugs and 22 percent reported that they did not want others to find out about their problem. They actually did not want neighbors to have negative opinions. 21 percent believed problem could be handled without treatment. Ten percent had cost concerns like their insurance did not cover treatment. Eight percent did not know where to go get treatment. Eight percent did not think treatment would help. Eight percent did not have time. Six percent could not afford it. Four percent felt treatment programs were unavailable. Three percent felt treatment might have negative effect on job. Three percent lacked transportation and two percent felt programs did not have openings.
It is interesting to note that 56 percent of teens are more likely to have received services when they talked to their parents about the dangers of substance abuse. That tells me we need to talk with our teens. Prescription drug abuse is spreading all over this country. It can be one of the most harmful things to our growing teenagers. If you know someone who needs help getting off drugs get them to an inpatient treatment center where they can get natural ways to detox and withdraw. Something can be done about it.
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