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Young Adults' Need for Addiction Treatment Outpaces Desire for Help

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Federal researchers say that 21.1 percent of Americans ages 18 to 25 have alcohol or other drug problems serious enough to require addiction treatment, but few of them recognized their need for help or sought assistance from a treatment facility, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report, Young Adults' Need for and Receipt of Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use Treatment: 2007, found that 93 percent of young adults classified as needing addiction treatment didn't receive it, and that 96 percent of this population did not perceived any need for assistance. Of the 4 percent who actually acknowledged needing help to cope with an addiction, just 32.2 percent tried to access treatment.

SAMHSA researchers estimated that 17.2 percent of the young adults surveyed needed treatment for alcohol disorders in the past year, 8.4 percent needed help with illicit drug disorders, and 4.4 percent had problems with both alcohol and illicit drugs that required intervention.

The study was based on 2007 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 

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