The rising numbers of young people with high-risk substance use, especially suffering from overdose, is alarming. Adolescence and young adulthood (under the age of 25) is the period of highest incidence and greatest impact of mental health and substance use disorders, yet there are no youth-specific services in place.
Further, youth are not benefiting from and are often excluded from most adult harm reduction and treatment services. Good and effective care for youth needs to address their complex age-specific needs. Youth’s pattern of use is more often explorative and nearly all youth who use substances experience early trauma experiences and mental health challenges. Any overdose event is an overall crisis and increases the risk for a following one.
The aim of this conference is to raise awareness for this important aspect of the overdose crisis and initiate a debate on necessary initiatives to create a proper clinical system addressing adolescence.