Researchers Identify Overdose Risk Factors in Substance Users

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Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston have identified a number of factors that increase drug overdose risk in teens and young adults.

For their study, the researchers used data from 200 intake assessments conducted from January 2012 to June 2013, at the Addiction Recovery Management Service – an MGH-based outpatient substance disorder treatment program for young people between 14 and 26. The assessments included information about substance use and psychiatric histories.

According to the researchers, more than a quarter of those seeking treatment – 58 individuals – had a history of at least one overdose, and 24 individuals had a history of more than one overdose. Of those with a history of at least one overdose, 62 percent (36 patients) had unintentional overdoses only, 31 percent (18 patients) had intentional overdose only, and 7 percent (four patients) had a history of both intentional and unintentional overdose. Young people with disorders involving the use of alcohol, cocaine or amphetamines, and a history of depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder had a higher risk of overdose.

Sourced from: The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry