Mental Health Conditions and Substance Use Disorders Among Youth Subsequently Diagnosed With Opioid Use Disorder or Opioid Poisoning

Published in: Journal of Addiction Medicine (2021). doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000894

Posted on RAND.org on July 21, 2021

by Edeanya Agbese, Bradley D. Stein, Benjamin Druss, Andrew W. Dick, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Douglas L. Leslie

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Purpose

This study examined receipt of services for mental health conditions and non-opioid substance use disorders (SUDs) among privately insured adolescents and young adults (ie, youth) with subsequent clinically diagnosed opioid use disorder (OUD) or opioid poisoning.

Methods

Among individuals aged 12 to 25 years (N = 4,926), healthcare service utilization claims for the 2 years before a newly clinically diagnosed OUD or opioid poisoning were assessed for mental health and nonopioid SUD service visits.

Results

Over half (60.6%) of the youth with clinically diagnosed OUD or opioid poisoning received mental health or nonopioid SUD services in the 2 years before the opioid poisoning or OUD diagnosis.

Conclusion

Many adolescents and young adults with clinically diagnosed OUD or opioid poisoning interacted with the healthcare system to receive services for mental health conditions and nonopioid SUDs before the OUD or opioid poisoning being diagnosed. Opportunities exist to design better intervention strategies to prevent OUD or opioid poisoning among adolescents and young adults.

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