How the paediatric workforce can address the opioid crisis

published on September 23, 2016 in The Lancet

About 17 million people worldwide engage in heroin and non-medical prescription opioid use, resulting in a public health emergency with substantial morbidity and mortality.1 In parts of North America and western Europe, overdose deaths have surpassed motor vehicle crash fatalities,2,3 and even the US presidential campaign has pivoted to addressing the opioid crisis as a national issue. Recognising young people commonly receive care from a paediatrician or general practitioner during adolescence and young adulthood””precisely when the incidence of opioid use disorder sharply increases4“”the American Academy of Pediatrics has released a policy statement that calls for expanded access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for youth.

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