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ISU study: 40% of young adults have a substance use disorder

AMES — An Iowa State University study finds two out of five young adults — both attending and not attending college — have at least one substance use disorder.

ISU psychology Professor Brooke Arterberry says researchers also discovered just one in every 100 college students with the disorder are able to quit, mostly because few young people seek help.

Arterberry says, “If you think about the idea that students are not seeking treatment or that help or support, then it’s going to be harder for them to remit.”

Substances included in the study were alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens and prescription drugs.

More than 3,200 young adults were surveyed.

Arterberry says it’s stunning so few young people seek treatment, especially college students who often have free addiction resources on campus.

She says, “Colleges and universities should really consider different ways or different prevention and intervention programs that are directed to encouraging students to seek treatment.”

A substance use disorder is defined as a medical condition in which the use of one or more substances leads to a clinically significant impairment or distress.

The study was published in the Journal of American College Health.



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