Yale Clinicians Address Growing Need for Adolescent Addiction Treatment Services in Connecticut < Pediatrics


“Most people with substance use disorders do not have access to evidence-based treatment. This is especially true for adolescents.” PhD in Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases), Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) He is also the Medical Director of the Yale University Addiction Medical Consultation Service (YAMCS). “Our country is facing an addiction and mental health crisis, and in my daily work at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), I am seeing an increasing rate of hospital admissions of young people for complications of substance use. I see it happening.”

In fact, by 2022, adolescents with substance use disorders in Connecticut will be twice as likely to use emergency services as adults (18% vs. 9%) and will be less likely to be involved in life-saving substance use disorder treatment. relatively low (1%).

Since its inception in 2018, YAMCS, affiliated with the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine (YPAM), has cared for more than 7,000 adults admitted to YNHH, providing evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders and related complications, Harm Counseling on reduction and links to continuing care in the community after discharge. His MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Deputy Program Director of the Pediatrics Program within YPAM, in response to the growing need for adolescent addiction treatment and prevention services in Weimer and Deepa Kamenga, Connecticut expanded his YAMCS in 2020 to serve adolescents and adolescents. young adult. Camenga is one of the few pediatricians in the state who are certified in addiction medicine. “People assume that teenagers are not interested in quitting. [using substances]But when I consult with a doctor, I find that teens are very open to learning about addiction in general and treatment options and support,” she explains.

In addition to providing access to urgently needed treatment, prevention and harm-reduction services, the newly established Adolescent Addiction Health Consultation Service will help addiction professionals work with children, teens, It provides a unique opportunity to work with young people and their families. We are currently facing a severe labor shortage. “When children and families are most vulnerable in hospitals, it is paramount to have access to clinicians trained to meet their needs and put them on a healthier path,” says Weimer. .

Under Camenga’s leadership, adolescent addiction health counseling services will complement the addiction services provided to children and adolescents through Yale and related community partners. “After we started seeing patients at the hospital, it became very clear that we needed to build outpatient services that teenagers could easily access after they were discharged from the hospital,” she says. In 2021, Camenga partnered with Fair Haven Community Healthcare, Yale Department of Pediatrics, and her YPAM to establish the Adolescent Addiction Prevention Clinic. The program provides outpatient care, including medication, to pediatric patients at Fair Haven. Reflecting national trends in adolescent drug use and drug use disorders, the clinic typically sees patients with nicotine vaping and cannabis use disorders, as well as binge drinking.

The clinic offers both in-person and virtual appointments and also offers new telemedicine services for middle and high school students that are integrated into local school-based health centers. Students are referred by school-based health center health care providers to telemedicine services for voluntary and confidential access, including counseling on psychoeducation, mental health coordination, substance treatment services, harm reduction and pharmacotherapy. You can receive up to 6 sessions of high care. Prevent reuse.

“The resilience of young people when they receive accurate information and evidence-based treatment at the right time is always inspiring,” says Camenga. “It is my goal to continue building these services so that children, teens, and families can access substance use prevention and treatment services as easily as they can access other types of healthcare. make it possible.”



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