Treatment use and barriers among adolescents with prescription opioid use disorders.
BACKGROUND: This study examined national trends, patterns, correlates, and barriers to substance abuse treatment use by adolescents aged 12-17 years who met at least one of the past-year criteria for prescription opioid abuse or dependence (N=1788). METHODS: Data were from the 2005-2008 National Surveys of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Past-year substance use disorders, major depression, and treatment use were assessed by audio computer-assisted self-interviewing. RESULTS: About 17% of adolescents with opioid dependence (n=434) and 16% of those with opioid abuse (n=355) used any substance abuse treatment in the past year compared with 9% of subthreshold users, i.e., adolescents who reported 1-2 prescription opioid dependence criteria but no abuse criteria (n=999). Only 4.2% of adolescents with opioid dependence, 0.5% of those with abuse, and 0.6% of subthreshold users reported a perceived need for treatment of nonmedical opioid use. Self-help groups and outpatient rehabilitation were the most commonly used sources of treatment. Few black adolescents used treatment (medical settings, 3.3%; self-help groups, 1.7%) or reported a need for treatment (1.8%). Talking to parents/guardians about dangers of substance use increased the odds of treatment use. Barriers to treatment use included "wasn't ready to stop substance use," "didn't want others to find out," and "could handle the problem without treatment." CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with prescription opioid use disorders markedly underutilize treatment. Non-financial barriers are pervasive, including stigma and a lack of perceived treatment need.
Wu, L-T; Blazer, DG; Li, T-K; Woody, GE
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