Most youths surviving opioid overdose not getting timely treatment to avoid recurrence
A study of more than 4 million Medicaid claims records during a recent seven-year period concludes that less than a third of the nearly 3,800 U.S. adolescents and young adults who experienced a nonfatal opioid overdose got timely (within 30 days) follow-up addiction treatment to curb or prevent future misuse and reduce the risk of a second overdose.
The analysis, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, also found that only 1 in 54 -- less than 2% -- received standard-of-care counseling and medications recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for treating opioid use disorder.
"If 1 in 54 young people with asthma or diabetes failed to receive standard therapies for emergency situations with their diseases, we wouldn't accept it," says Rachel Alinsky, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatrician and adolescent medicine fellow at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and lead researcher of the study described recently in JAMA Pediatrics. "Yet, this is where we are now with the treatment our system is able to provide to youths who have survived an opioid overdose -- and we need to do better for them."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2017, about 68% of the more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in the United States involved one of the three types of opioids: illegal drugs such as heroin; prescription medications such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine and methadone; and synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl. Of those deaths, just over 4,000 were among ...
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