Young adults with substance use disorder and a co-occurring psychiatric disorder should receive integrated mental health and addiction care across treatment settings, according to new principles of care released by a group of pediatric addiction medicine experts.
The workgroup of experts, convened by Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction, said care should be responsive to the needs of young adults exposed to trauma and other adverse childhood experiences. Treatment programs should regularly assess and respond to the evolving mental health needs, motivations and treatment goals of young adults with co-occurring disorders, the group said.
Over 50% of young adults ages 18 to 25 with substance use disorders have at least one co-occurring psychiatric disorder, according to a Boston Medical Center news release. The presence of co-occurring disorders worsens substance use disorder outcomes.
“We hope that this will start the much-needed dialogue within the medical community about young adult addiction medicine and lead to the development of recommendations and treatment guidelines specific to the needs of these patients,” said Michael Silverstein, M.D., who played a key role in the convening.