Medication-Assisted Treatment for Adolescents in Specialty Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Kenneth A. Feder, Noa Krawczyk, Brendan Saloner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose The American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended that pediatricians consider medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for adolescents with severe opioid use disorders. Little is known about adolescents’ current use of MAT. Methods We use data on episodes of specialty treatment for heroin or opioid use (n = 139,092) from a database of publicly funded treatment programs in the U.S. We compare the proportions of adolescents and adults who received MAT, first using unadjusted comparison of proportions, then using logistic regression to adjust for potential confounders. Results Only 2.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4%–3.7%) of adolescents in treatment for heroin received MAT, as compared to 26.3% (95% CI, 26.0%–26.6%) of adults. Only.4% (95% CI,.2%–.7%) of adolescents in treatment for prescription opioids received MAT, as compared to 12.0% (95% CI, 11.7%–12.2%) of adults. Regression-adjusted results were qualitatively similar. Conclusions Regulatory changes and expansions of Medicaid/CHIP coverage for MAT may be needed to improve MAT access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-750
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Buprenorphine
  • Heroin
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Methadone
  • Opioids
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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