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Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) decided to look into the risk factors associated with overdose for young substance users after discovering that a quarter of people aged 14-26 seeking treatment through an MGH youth-based outpatient treatment program known as Addiction Recovery Management Service had a history of at least one overdose.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, is particularly notable for its singular focus on substance addiction among young users, as most previous research on overdose risk factors has not focused on possible differences among age groups. The study is also the first to find eating disorders as a possible risk factor in overdose among young substance users.

Other mental health disorders, specifically, depression and anxiety, were correlated to higher rates of history and individuals suffering from multiple substance use disorders, also known as polysubstance addiction, were three times more likely to have a history of overdose than those suffering from a single substance use disorder. The study also found that individuals with addictions to particular substances, like alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines reported prior overdoses at a higher rate than those with other substance addictions.

Substance use at a young age is itself correlated with higher rates of overdose and addiction, so if you or someone you love may be struggling with a substance use disorder, it is important to seek help right away.

The Asana Recovery Center offers a comprehensive detoxification and residential treatment program that can help people of any age and at any stage of substance addiction. Call (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our facilities and find out whether our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program may be right for you.