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Teenagers with Mental Disorders are more Likely to be Opioids Dependent


Teenagers with Mental Disorders are more Likely to be Opioids Dependent

Adolescents and young adults with mental health disorders at risk of long-term opioid use, a recent study have found.

Researches from the University of Washington and a team at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute conducted this study that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. They found that teenagers with mental disorders were most likely to be prescribed with opioids for chronic pain. They were also 2.4 times more likely to become long-term opioid users than those who didn’t have a mental health disorder.

The study’s data sets contained information from January 2001 to June 2008, and tracked more than 62,000 American teenagers. The results showed that long-term opioids use was more common among males and adolescents who lived in communities that were poorer, had more white residents, and had fewer residents who had attended college.

“There are a number of reasons why adolescents and young adults with mental health issues are more likely to become long-term users of opioids,” said Dr. Laura Richardson, study co-author and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington. “Depression and anxiety might increase pain symptoms and lead to longer treatment, and physicians may see depressed patients as being more distressed and may be willing to treat pain symptoms over a longer period of time.”

Long-term opioid use is defined as using opioids for more than 90 days within a six-month period with no gap of usage over 30 days. Chronic pain complaints included back pain, neck pain, headache and arthritis or joint pain.

Dr. Richardson offers the following tips aimed to help reduce risk of long-term opioid use for parents, patients and medical professionals:
 

  • Providers should have frank conversations with families about the long-term use of opioids and the risks involved.
     
  • Providers should screen for mental health disorders before starting medications, and should consider referring patients with depression or anxiety for counseling or other mental health treatment.
     
  • Parents and patients should ask how long the provider anticipates that the patient will be treated with opioids. For most conditions, such as post-surgical pain or dental procedures, the treatment should be no longer than two weeks.
     
  • Parents who are concerned that adolescents might have depression or anxiety should advocate for them to make sure they get the help and treatment they need.
     
  • Parents and patients should appropriately discard any unused opioid prescriptions, and take advantage of “take back your drugs” days and drop sites at local police stations and pharmacies.
     

اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Abdullatief Janat


Source :

ePharmaNews






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