Wednesday, November 02, 2022
Drug overdoses are the largest injury related cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC. Those numbers keep rising. Cincinnati Children's has joined the fight to keep young people alive by opening the Opioid Use Treatment Clinic in the Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine. The program provides office-based outpatient medication treatment for young people between the ages of 16 to 21. This is one of the only outpatient clinics offering medication treatment to people under 18 years old in the region.
Patients in those age ranges struggling with addiction to drugs like heroin, Percocet, oxycontin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydromorphone and Vicodin now have access to care.
“Opioid addiction is still a growing problem in adolescents and young adults,” said Daniel Cohen, APRN, Cincinnati Children’s Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine. “We are looking forward to helping make a difference in the lives of young people who want help.”
Providers in the Opioid Use Treatment Clinic have been through appropriate training and are licensed to prescribe Suboxone as a treatment option. Patients who qualify will receive up to a month's supply of medication. Suboxone has a much lower chance of overdose compared to methadone. Although this treatment is safe and effective, teens with opioid addiction are much less likely to receive treatment than adults.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data showing overdose deaths in teens have tripled in the last two years as a direct result of fentanyl. Counterfeit medications and street drugs may include fentanyl which puts youth at greatest risk of overdose and death.
“We want to provide young people with the best possible chance to succeed in beating addiction,” said Cohen. “Cincinnati Children’s is a safe space for a young person battling addiction to powerful opioids.”
Social workers in the clinic can connect patients to community providers for therapy services. The clinic plans to offer therapy as part of its services soon.
In some cases, patients can seek confidential treatment without parental consent. Parents can also call about care for their child. For more information, call 513-636-4748 or visit: cincinnatichildrens.org/service/a/adolescent-medicine/programs/opioid-treatment.