The United States of America is currently undergoing the worst addiction crisis ever to affect the nation.  According to the agreed upon analysis and conclusion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), the National Institute on Drug Use and Health, (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA):

“The United States has now reached the level of experiencing a clinical epidemic, as it pertains to drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, and substance abuse in general and all that goes along with that.”

The nation has never reached a level where-in substance abuse was an epidemic.  A crisis, maybe, but not an epidemic.  This certainly seems to be the case today and now it would appear that pretty much anyone can get addicted to almost anything.  Case in point, a new study revealed that young adults who have diabetes are now at much higher risk for substance abuse and addiction than their non-diabetic peers are.

Young Diabetics and Addiction

Young people with diabetes are, statistically speaking, four times more likely to be hospitalized for mental health or substance abuse treatment than those who are free of the disease and do not have even the faintest trace of diabetes, according to a recent study by the Health Care Cost Institute that was analyzed by Kaiser Health News.

What was found from this study was that current hospitalization rates for 19-25 year olds suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders were in fact 68% higher in the year of 2014 than they were just two years before that.  The issue really crept up on them, and it crept up fast too, fast enough that the medical field and the substance abuse prevention departments are still scrambling to catch up with it.

One particular senior Health Care Cost Institute, (HCCI), researcher made a statement to the Kaiser group that the impending rise may be due to more young people utilizing services under the Affordable Care Act, which allows children to stay on their parents’ medical insurance until they turn 26 years old, and eliminated insurance discrimination between them, whereas before they could not stay on the insurance for nearly quite as long.  Thanks to the Affordable Carte Act, there was a big jump in employer-sponsored coverage for young adults aged 14 to 26, many of whom were legitimately afflicted with diabetes, but who were using their parents’ health insurance to get prescription drugs that they could get high off of, not just for diabetes medications.  This was found out in the year of 2014, and the situation has only gotten worse and even more prevalent since then.

How does this come about?  Why do young adults with diabetes seek out other drugs in such higher numbers than their non-diabetic peers?  Truthfully, simply managing diabetes is quite often very stressful for young people.  We’re talking about teens and young adults in their twenties who must constantly monitor their blood sugar levels and carbohydrate intake, and be mindful of the medications that they need to take.  This can put a real damper on the life of a youth, and since they already have such easy access to medications, it makes it very, very easy for them to start abusing other prescription drugs too, as they are already on the verge of the mindset needed in an individual to do so to begin with.

As if that wasn’t reason enough, increasing medical costs are a major buzzkill for anyone with a chronic disease.  This creates depression, constant worry, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, nervous hysteria, and all other kinds of unpleasant emotions.  For example, The Health Care Cost Institute, (HCCI), found that per capita spending on people with diabetes reached $16,021 per person in the year of 2014, almost $10,000 more per person than for people who did not have diabetes.  The same study found that people with diabetes spent two-and-a-half times more out of pocket than those without diabetes.  So, not only do you have a young adult who has to suffer with diabetes to begin with, but he or she also has to watch his or her parents shell out loads of money on his or her medical condition, which will only make matters worse for them, and can only serve to inspire them to turn to self-medicating prescription drugs to, “make them feel better”.

We must be more mindful of the youth of the nation that suffers with diabetes.  We can’t just treat them like regular adults who have the same condition.  Extra care needs to be allotted to them and we also need to pay closer attention to them to ensure that they are managing the condition to the best of their abilities and that any help that they might need is provided to them.

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