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Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Pediatric Medical Settings

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to examine the impact of the opioid epidemic in adolescents and young adults and recent findings regarding the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) in pediatric medical settings.

Recent Findings

Existing guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain in adults are not intended to be applied to adolescents, who arguably may need different interventions that balance the need to mitigate the long-term impact of chronic pain with the need to limit opioid misuse. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment is an important upstream strategy to prevent opioid misuse in youth. Medications such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone are important treatment options for youth with OUD but remain underutilized in this population.

Summary

More research is needed to better understand how to best prevent opioid misuse and treat OUD in adolescents and young adults.

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Correspondence to Sharon Levy.

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Levy, S., Camenga, D. Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Pediatric Medical Settings. Curr Addict Rep 6, 374–382 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-019-00272-0

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Keywords

  • Opioids
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Adolescents
  • Young adults
  • Prevention
  • Treatment