Few Teens Treated for Opioid Addiction Get Medication-Assisted Treatment

Only 2.4 percent of teens in treatment for heroin addiction receive medication-assisted treatment, a new study finds.

In contrast, 26.3 percent of adults received treatment with addiction medications such as methadone or buprenorphine, Reuters reports.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found only .4 percent of teens in treatment for prescription opioid addiction receive medication-assisted treatment, compared with 12 percent of adults.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises doctors to consider medication-assisted treatment for teens with severe opioid use disorders.

“There’s more that needs to be done across the board to facilitate access to these treatments when they’re medically necessary,” lead researcher Kenneth Feder told Reuters. “The best validated treatment for somebody struggling with an opiate addiction is treatment that includes some sort of medication assistance.”

The study appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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