Most Teens Addicted to Painkillers Don’t Receive Treatment

sitting group of teens

Few teens addicted to painkillers receive treatment, a new analysis of federal data finds. Youths of color are especially unlikely to receive treatment.

The analysis found only 16 percent of white youths age 21 and under receive treatment, compared with 9.5 percent of youths of color, The Washington Post reports.

The analysis was conducted by Child Trends, a research organization that focuses on children and youths. The group found that the number of substance use treatment facilities did not change from 2007 to 2017, and fewer than one-third of facilities offer programming for youth.

Providing greater access to treatment may not close the gap between white youths and those of color, the report noted. “Youth of color may be less likely to seek treatment than their white peers. Youth of color are less likely to be insured, screened for substance abuse, and referred to treatment by clinical providers,” Child Trends reported.

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