Publication date: Jul 14, 2023
Substance use disorders (SUDs) are on the rise in children and young adults in the United States. According to reports, over 40 million people aged 12 and older had a diagnosed SUD in 2020. 1 A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that overdose death in children aged 10 to 19 years old increased 109% from 2019 to 2021. 2 Given the rapidly increasing prevalence of SUD, anesthesiologists will almost certainly encounter children, adolescents, and young adults with a history of recreational drug use or nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the perioperative period. Since the perioperative period can be a particularly challenging time for patients with SUD, anesthesiologists can tailor their perioperative care to reduce rates of relapse and can serve as both advocates and educators for this vulnerable patient population. This article examines the history of SUD and physiology of substance use in children, adolescents, and young adults, including reasons why young people are more susceptible to the addictive effects of many substances. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacted many aspects of life, including increased social isolation and shifted dynamics at home, both thought to impact substance use. 3 Substance use patterns in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are explored. Although current literature is mostly on adults, the evidence-based medical treatments for patients with SUD are reviewed, and recommendations for perioperative considerations are suggested. The emphasis of this review is on opioid use disorder, cannabis, and vaping particularly because these have disproportionately affected the younger population. The article provides recommendations and resources for recognizing and treating adolescents and young adults at risk for SUD in the perioperative period. It also provides suggestions to reduce new persistent postoperative opioid use.
|disease||MESH||Substance Use Disorders|
|disease||MESH||coronavirus disease 2019|
|disease||MESH||opioid use disorder|