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    Treatment of opioid use disorder

    New guidelines can arm pediatricians with the basic understanding of treatment options to manage opioid dependence or addiction in children.



    To date, no singular guideline exists on treatment of opioid dependence or addiction in children and adolescents. Current guidelines on opioid use and treatment are geared primarily for adults, and their extrapolation to children should be avoided because little data is available on the specific effects of opioids on the developing mind and the optimal approach to treating dependence or addiction. Pediatricians and other healthcare providers who care for children and adolescents can use the information here as a starting point to better understand how to approach the management of opioid dependence or addiction in children.

    Next: How nonmedical opioid use increases sexual risks



    1. Galinkin J, Khol JL; Committee on Drugs; Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine; American Acedemy of Pediatrics. Recognition and management of iatrogenically induced opioid dependence and withdrawal in children. Pediatrics. 2014;133(1):152-155.

    2. Dowell D, Haegerich TM, Chou R. CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—United States, 2016. JAMA. 2016;315(15):1624-1645.

    3. Schechter NL, Walco GA. The potential impact on children of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain: above all, do no harm. JAMA Pediatr. 2016. 170(5):425-426.

    4. Abdouni R, Reyburn-Orne T, Youssef TH, Haddad IY, Gerkin RD. Impact of a standardized treatment guideline for pediatric iatrogenic opioid dependence: a quality improvement initiative. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2016;21(1):54-63.

    5. Kampman K, Jarvis M. American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use. J Addict Med. 2015;9(5):358-367.

    Mary Beth Nierengarten, MA
    Mary Beth Nierengarten is a freelance medical writer with over 25 years of experience. Her work appears regularly in a number of print ...


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