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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
July/August 2009, Volume 17, Number 4 

Need Treatment? Many Young Adults Say No

Nearly 7 million Americans age 18 to 25 were classified as needing treatment in the past year for alcohol or illicit drug use, according to a new SAMHSA report. But 93 percent of these young adults did not receive the help they needed at a specialty treatment facility.

Young Adults’ Need for and Receipt of Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use Treatment: 2007 focuses on the alcohol and illicit drug use treatment needs of young adults (people age 18 to 25) and on the difference between the number who need treatment and those who actually receive it.

Photo of adolescent girl talking to an adult woman

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) classifies people as needing treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use if they met the criteria for dependence or abuse or if they received specialty treatment in the past year.

Need for Treatment

The report points out that the gap between treatment need and receipt may be due to the gap in the perception of need. The vast majority (96 percent) of young adults needing but not receiving specialized treatment for substance use problems did not think they needed help.

Even among the 4 percent of young adults who thought they needed specialized help in the past year but who had not received it, less than one-third (32.2 percent) made any attempt to get treatment.

Among young adults, 17.2 percent needed treatment for alcohol disorders in the past year, 8.4 percent for illicit drug disorders and 4.4 percent for a combination of alcohol and illicit drug disorders.

This data may provide insights into opportunities for education, prevention, and treatment. Increased prevention efforts targeted at this age group could not only reduce prevalence, but could also help people recognize dependence and access the help that is available.

Read the full report online in PDF or HTML format.



  Statistics on Substance Abuse,  
  Mental Health  
State by State Estimates

State by State Estimates

Every state faces a different set of challenges with substance abuse and mental health issues, including binge drinking and depression.

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

Treatment Discharges: Latest Data

SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) recently updated its data on discharges from treatment facilities.


  Treatment Updates  
TIP 50: Literature Review

TIP 50: Literature Review

Part 3 of TIP 50, Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment, is available.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Need, Barriers

Many people who need treatment for an alcohol problem are not seeking help. Why?

National Directory Updated and Available

National Directory Updated and Available

An updated guide to finding local substance abuse treatment programs is available.


  Real Warrior Campaign  
Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference

The Real Warriors Campaign is fighting the stigma of asking for help.


  Prevention Update  
Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail Tobacco Sales to Youth

Retail sales of tobacco products to young people continue to drop.

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parent Involvement Makes a Difference

Parents play an important role in preventing substance abuse.

Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

New funding, Web site redesign to improve navigation, and more.


  Grants  
Prevention Awards

Prevention Awards

To advance community-based prevention programs, $190 million to 25 grantees.

Calculating Program Allotments

A new guide provides information on procedures to calculate allocations for some key block and formula grants.

Drug Free Communities: Continuation Awards

More than 500 community coalitions nationwide recently received Drug Free Communities (DFC) continuation awards for their programs.


  Health Reform  
Nine Core Principles

Nine Core Principles

Ensuring current reform efforts include mental health and substance abuse issues.


  Mental Health  
Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Forecasting the Next 5 Years

Changes are coming to create “whole health,” person-centered care.


  Adolescents & Young Adults  
Need Treatment? Many Say No

Need Treatment? Many Say No

Nearly 7 million Americans age 18 to 25 were classified as needing treatment in the past year.


  Recovery Month  
Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Celebrating 20 Years of Recovery

Get up–to–the–minute updates on September's events.


  Also in this Issue  
Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Under the Influence: Fathers and Alcohol Use

Does dad's drinking affect his adolescent children?

Methadone Advisory

New information on the dangers of methadone in combination with other drugs.



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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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