Few Teens with Mental Disorders Are Treated

By Staff Writer

Despite the fact that substance abuse help and other forms of rehab can improve the condition of those with addiction and mental illness, a new study has found that few adolescents receive treatment for major mental disorders.

For the study, researchers from the National Institutes of Health reviewed survey data on teens between the ages of 13 and 18. The data was based on face-to-face interviews with nearly 6,500 young adults.

They found that few teens who met the criteria for mental illness had ever been treated for their condition. The problem was worst among adolescents who showed symptoms of substance abuse, anxiety and eating disorders. Fewer than 20 percent of the individuals with one of these conditions had been treated.

However, the treatment rates for more common conditions like attention deficit hyper activity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder were much higher. Overall, the researchers found a treatment rate of just over 36 percent for teens with any mental impairment.

The researchers said that finding appropriate treatment options, such as drug rehab for some individuals, may be important to helping teens get their adult lives started on the right foot.