Teens, Young Adults Are Less Likely to Receive Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

published on December 8, 2021 by Kristin Della Volpe in Clinical Advisor

Adolescents and young adults are less likely to be prescribed medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) compared with older adults, with access barriers linked to Black race, Hispanic and Latino ethnicity, living in the South, and involvement in the criminal justice system, according to findings reported in JAMA Pediatrics.

“As someone who has worked on the frontlines of the overdose crisis, I believe that urgent action is needed to address these critical access gaps,” said lead author Andreas Pilarinos, MPP, a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia. The authors emphasized the need to address prescriber reluctance and broaden the range of medications available to young people with opioid use disorder.

Although MOUD are linked to positive outcomes in teens and young adults and are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, experts have raised concerns about access to these medications in these age groups. The present study was designed to investigate barriers to access and factors that may improve access to treatment for opioid use disorder in this population…

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