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Addiction to Prescription Opiates and Heroin Addressed by New Resource
Date:12/12/2013

starts in adolescence  – when 90 percent of all addictions begin. Unfortunately, too many young people who abuse prescription pain medicines are progressing to street heroin as pills become harder to obtain or tamper with," said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. "As The Partnership advocates for better, more available adolescent treatment, we must help parents understand that while there is no one treatment that's right for every child, medication-assisted treatment should be considered in their decision-making process."

"Opioid addiction and overdoses affect increasing numbers of Americans and are now among the biggest public health problems of our time, said Dr. Hillary Kunins, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use - Prevention Care and Treatment, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "Medication-assisted treatment is highly effective in treating opioid addiction, and preventing overdoses."

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

The Food and Drug Administration has approved three drugs to treat opioid addiction: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. When used as detoxification medications, methadone and buprenorphine can reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids. When used as maintenance medications, they suppress withdrawal and cravings and actively contribute to a reduction in nonmedical opioid use. Naltrexone is a maintenance medication and blocks the intense "high" effects that opioids are known to have in the user. These medications have undergone rigorous safety and potency checks, much like maintenance medicines for other diseases like hypertension or diabetes.

"Medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence is a science-based and proven-effective option for teens and young adults. It should be administered with age appropriate psychosocial therapy and drug testi
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SOURCE The Partnership at Drugfree.org
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