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How often do youth with opioid use disorder get buprenorphine or naltrexone?

Dispensing buprenorphine and naltrexone to adolescents and young adults with opioid use disorder has increased over time, although the medications appear to still be underutilized in young people and disparities exist with female, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic youth less likely to receive them, according to a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Risk for opioid use disorder frequently begins in adolescence and young adulthood but early intervention can prevent premature death and lifelong harm.

Buprenorphine and naltrexone can prevent relapse and overdose. Understanding which young people are getting medication, which medications (buprenorphine or naltrexone) they are getting, and how dispensing varies by sociodemographic characteristics is important to expand addiction treatment services.

Scott E. Hadland, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., of Boston University School of Medicine and…

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