An experimental treatment for teenagers who are addicted to opiates worked better than traditional ones, according to a new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association
Standard treatment involves use drugs such as buprenorphine and naloxone only during the short-term detoxification process. However, the new study indicates that using these drugs for a three-month period increases a teen addict's chances of staying drug-free.
Dr. George Woody, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Psychiatry, assigned 152 people ages 15 to 21 years old to two groups. All the teens were addicted to prescription opiates such as OxyContin, street opiates such as heroin, or a combination of both. Patients in one group received buprenorphine and naloxone along with individual and group counseling for a two-week period. The second group did the same for three months.
Those in the long-term treatment cohort fared better on random urine tests, reported less use of opioids, cocaine, and marijuana, and had less need for further addiction treatment.
"If you keep these young kids, average one and a half years of addiction, on buprenorphine-naloxone, they did a lot better," said Dr. Woody. "When you took them off buprenorphine and naloxone, their opioid use went up."
Another expert on teen addictions, Yale University professor Dr. David Fiellin, said that between 200,000 and 400,000 teenagers experimented with prescription drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin last year.
"They are taking them in a way that is not appropriate," he said. "A fair number of these individuals will become dependent or addicted."
Labels: addiction, treatment, opiates
Posted By: Aspen Education Group 0 Comments