There is a significant window of opportunity regarding treatment for adolescents and teenagers who experience non-fatal opioid overdoses. Often, most of these young adults have yet to receive an opioid use disorder (OUD) diagnosis, therefore making it difficult for this population to receive treatment following their overdose experiences.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research of over 4 million records from Medicaid to assess the number of young adults and their experiences following an overdose. The research found that most young adults enrolled in the program treated for an opioid overdose did not get effective follow-up treatments following the overdose, and also experienced high rates of recurring overdoses. 

The Research

Researchers discovered over 3,600 young adults between the ages of 13 and 22 who experienced nonfatal overdoses and continued enrollment in Medicaid for 30 days after. The research found that less than one-third of these young adults obtained suitable treatment after their overdose, and less than 2% of them received medications to help with the OUDs.

Furthermore, young adults who suffered from a heroin overdose compared to those who overdosed on other opioids are far less likely to receive treatment.  

Improving the Numbers

The research recommends improvements in access to treatments for adolescents dealing with OUDs. Furthermore, they recognized a few possible barriers to treatment for this population, such as:

  • A lack of treatment providers that accept youth patients and offer them medication treatments for OUDs
  • A limited number of treatment providers who are familiar with treating substance use disorders (SUDs) and OUDs
  • Facing multiple difficulties in finding treatment centers which accept Medicaid

These barriers expose an immediate need to connect young adults to treatment following an overdose. 

Are You Looking for Help for Yourself or a Loved One?

Barriers to treatment consistently arise as issues that people of all ages face when dealing with SUDs and OUDs. Unfortunately, for young adults, these barriers seem higher and greater due to their age, the limits of treatment providers, and the under-diagnosis of this population group. 

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.