Opioid Abuse of Those 26 to 34 Has Doubled

Research published this September in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors shows that young adults, those 26 to 34 years old, are twice as likely to have prescription opioid abuse and opioid disorder as that same age group from one decade ago. In addition to young adults, data show that emerging adults, those 18 to 25 years of age, have shown an even larger alarming increase in use of the prescription opioids for non-medical purposes.

Opioid Abuse Wide-Reaching

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health has released data that also highlight the increasing trend of opioid abuse. The data show alarming and wide-reaching numbers for both the young adults and emerging adult groups. During the past decade, young adults have doubled their odds from 11% to 24%; emerging adults show a 37% increase in developing prescription opioid use disorder.

Opioid Abuse Leading To Heroin Use

The problem of opioid abuse and addiction often does not end there. Research has shown a 4x to 9x increase in movement on to heroin use for both young adults and emerging adults who have been using opioids without an appropriate prescription. Data show that over the past decade that heroin use post opioid use has risen from 2% to 7% for 18 to 25-year-olds, and from 2% to 12% for 26-to 34-year-olds.

Urgent Psychiatric Intervention Needed

With concrete data showing the alarming increases of prescription opioid use disorders as well as increased odds of moving on to heroin use, it is a critical time for public education, changes in the attitude of the medical community, and in development of new health policies. Opioid addiction is treatable – qualified medical professionals are waiting to develop a treatment plan.

Opioid Abuse Treatment

Dr. Hege has decades of experience in successfully treating opioid abuse and addiction. Give his office a call for a confidential appointment and begin to break the bonds addiction has over you.


About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege, MD, PC, is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is an Emory Hospital residency trained psychiatrist who has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years. He maintains over 50 hours of AMA certified education each year to stay informed of advances in psychiatry.

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