For Adolescents, Hope After Heroin

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Adolescents can – and do – get into trouble with addictions to opioids. Medication-assisted treatment is now available locally for this age-group, according to Patricia Rehmer, president of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network.

Q: Tell us about the local recovery program that the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network provides specifically for adolescents.

A: Adolescents clearly do get into trouble with addictions and I think when medication assisted treatment first evolved, that we really weren’t thinking of it as much for adolescents. Because they’re newer into their addiction. And initially, medication-assisted treatment was thought for people who are further along in their addiction. But what we have seen with opioids is that it’s so involved and so addicting that medication-assisted treatment is truly appropriate for adolescents. Rushford, specifically, has really has gone on that journey and we’ve decided to offer medication-assisted treatment to adolescents that appear to need it.

Q: Tell us a little about the response from parents who are so concerned about their kids and from the adolescents themselves.

A: I think parents are very relieved that they have another option open for their child. It’s a very scary addiction, obviously, and medication-assisted treatment is another treatment tool. We need every tool that we can in the toolbox when we’re treating addictions, and we know medication-assisted treatment is an evidence-based practice. It has an 87% better chance of a better outcome for an individual who is struggling with any addiction. So having that is something that we can offer to adolescents we see as a very positive thing. They may not need to be on it as long as somebody that is older, but it gives them a little bit of a jump start if you will, to get into recovery and to give them the hope that they need.

Learn more here about the recovery services available for teens at the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network, including medication-assisted treatment

 


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