MCF has released its latest report based on focus groups held with parents and caregivers: Listening and Learning from Caregivers of Youth and Young Adults with Substance Use Problems. The report is the result of 10 focus groups held across the state with parents and caregivers who have cared for a child under the age of 26 with a substance use problem. One hundred and eight (108) caregivers attended the focus groups.
Remarkably similar themes emerged across the focus groups. Topics of importance included education about substance use; coverage for residential treatment; availability of treatment and other services; stigma; the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA); and youth and family peer-to-peer support. Families are eager to partner with policy-makers, government officials, providers and other stakeholders to better meet the needs of youth and young adults with substance use disorders and their families.
Recruitment for the focus groups was done largely through collaboration with groups dedicated to supporting youth with an opioid dependence and their families - seventy-four percent (74%) of focus group participants reported that their child used opioids; most youth were described by their caregivers as addicted. Therefore the report provides rich information about what might be done to better help youth with opioid dependence and their families.