Prescription Drug Abuse and Co-Occurring Psychological Disorders in Young Adults



Over the past 15 years the use and abuse of prescription drugs in adults has increased several fold: estimates of this rise based on treatment admissions were as high as 400% from 1998-2008. Since most substance addictions start between ages 18 and 25, young adults are at exceptional risk. This age group is also associated with high rates of mental illness, such as Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and schizophrenia. This age group has been found to have mental illness rates higher than others groups: twice as high as those adults age 50 and older. Although limited in number, studies have suggested that the comorbidity rates of these illnesses with the misuse of prescription drugs can range from over 20% to almost 30%, depending on the substance.

This webinar will explore the available research on rates of comorbidity between prescription drug use and other psychiatric disorders as well as offer a clinical perspective in working with these problems in this population. It can be helpful to anyone who works with this age population to better understand the prevalence of the problem, the prescription drugs being abused, associated co-occurring disorders, and how to effectively intervene with at-risk young adults.

Learning Goals:

In this webinar participants will learn more about:

• The types of prescription drugs being abused

• Co-occurring psychiatric disorders associated with the use of these drugs

• What the available research is indicating about the rates of comorbidity, especially in this age group

• How professionals can intervene and available treatment options

This webinar is for anyone who works in counseling roles, student support services, teachers, administration, student health services and community prevention providers who work with this population.

About the Presenter:

Jonathan Beazley LMFT LADC is a clinician with over 33 years in the field of substance abuse treatment. He is presently the AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) Interventionist at the UConn campus in Storrs where he provides student counseling, campus outreach, internship training and educational seminars. He also has a private practice in Chaplin, CT, where he works with individuals, groups, families and couples, predominantly focusing on prescription drug abuse. He has managed several substance abuse programs in the past including inpatient detoxification, residential, intensive outpatient and outpatient levels of care.

PowerPoint Slides

Audio Recording

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