Thirty-seven million Americans died from an opioid overdose (prescription drugs and heroin) in 2016 and over 2 million in the U.S. are addicted to these drugs.
Among all adults in treatment for opioid addiction, one-third started using opioids before the age of 18, with two-thirds starting before the age of 25.
Given these facts, one would expect all possible effective treatment options would be deployed to help young people most at risk of developing an addiction or dying from an overdose.
Sadly, only one-in-four teens in the U.S. are routinely receiving life-saving medications for opioid addiction (buprenorphine and naltrexone) in the U.S. – according to a study just published by researchers from Boston Medical Center.
How is that possible?
According to the research team, there are several reasons.
First, it was not until late 2016 that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended these drugs for adolescents.
In addition, few teens receive these medications because there’s a widespread shortage of physicians who’ve received the waiver certification required to prescribe them. And, as the researchers note, of all of the physicians certified in the United States, only one-percent are pediatricians.
What can be done?
Every effort must be made and as quickly as possible to inform and train pediatric physicians about the value of this treatment option while also addressing the shortage of pediatric physicians certified to prescribe these drugs.
To do anything less will have tragic consequences to an entire generation.
If you or someone you know is trapped by addiction to opioids in Connecticut or New Hampshire, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is producing rates of recovery that are more that 300% above the national average and
we do make sure everyone we serve who needs medication-assisted treatment (buprenorphine and naltrexone), gets that treatment
. To learn more or to talk to one of our Recovery Specialists, visit www.awarerecoverycare.com.