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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Mental Health

Advisor

Nancy Reid

Abstract

Gone are the days when children played outside after school with their friends on playgrounds surrounded by bicycles, balls, and jump ropes. Today’s youth are faced with many other opportunities for engaging in activities which can harm their health. Parents who are divorced, forced to work more than one job often leave these children to take care of themselves. Anxiety, depression, peer pressure, bullying, abuse, and parental uninvolvement are all on the rise in this 21st century contributing to adolescent substance abuse disorders. Many children aren’t brought to preventative office visits and countless are uninsured. Proper utilization of mental health screening tools and properly educated providers are essential for early diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders at each visit. This may be the only chance the child has for improvement. Barriers to treatment include little or no health insurance, lack of mental health coverage, decreased provider availability, social factors, and stigma related to mental health treatment.

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