Programs Can Lower Substance Abuse Rates in Young Adults with Mental Health Issues
Older teens and young adults with mental health issues who participate in community-based treatment programs report lower levels of substance use disorders, a new government report finds.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says young adults ages 18 to 25 who take part in community-based treatment programs supported by the agency achieve positive outcomes in behavioral and emotional health, employment, school enrollment, daily life skills and reduced homelessness.
SAMHSA notes 20 percent of young adults in the United States had a mental health condition last year, according to Medical News Today. More than 1.3 million had a disorder that interfered with their ability to function in daily life.
Among participants in SAMHSA’s adolescent substance abuse treatment programs, over an eight-month period, there was an 80 percent increase in the number of young adults who were living in the community, a 34 percent decrease in the number who reported experiencing mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety, and a 10 percent increase in the number who were enrolled in school or working.
The report found among young adults who took part in SAMHSA-sponsored programs, 28 percent showed notable improvement in behavioral and emotional health within six months, and 38 percent showed considerable improvement within a year.
In SAMHSA’s Pregnant and Postpartum Women program, 86 percent of young adults reported no substance use after six months of treatment, compared with 40 percent of those entering the program, and 29 percent reported being employed or in school, compared with 13 percent of those entering the program.
“These data show that treatment is effective. Young people who experience mental or substance use disorders can recover and lead healthy, productive lives with improvements in employment opportunities, housing, education and emotional well-being,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release.