Opioid Use Disorders: What Pediatricians Should Know
We have all heard about concerns of misuse of opioid medications by adolescents. According to recent data, 6.8 percent of teens aged 12–17 reported nonmedical use of pain relievers in the past month (SAMHSA, 2013). Pediatricians should be aware of the possibility that their adolescent patients might be addicted to opioids or misusing opioids but not yet addicted. They must also bear in mind that other young patients will benefit from prescription opioid medications for pain control. This fact sheet offers practical suggestions physicians can use in general pediatric offices to identify, treat, and refer adolescent patients who may be misusing or abusing opioids.