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Few opioid addicted youth get standard treatment medication

CHICAGO (AP) -- A new study finds only 1 in 4 teens and young adults with opioid addiction receive recommended treatment medication despite having good health insurance.

The research suggests that doctors are not keeping up with the needs of youth in the opioid addiction epidemic. The study was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers at Boston Medical Center looked at records for nearly 21,000 patients ages 13 to 25 from one large insurance carrier, United Healthcare.

All were diagnosed with opioid addiction, but only 27 percent were given buprenorphine or naltrexone during years when addiction was soaring.

Study author Dr. Scott Hadland says doctors need to become more comfortable treating addiction with medications that are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.