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Mental health
Medication assisted therapy (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD) in youth improves outcomes and saves lives
  1. Patricia O'Malley
  1. Nursing Research, Premier Health Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patricia O'Malley, Nursing Research, Premier Health Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH 45409, USA; pomalley{at}

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Commentary on: Hadland SE, Bagley SM, Rodean J, et al. Receipt of timely addiction treatment and association of early medication treatment with retention in care among youths with opioid use disorder. JAMA Pediatrics. 2018;172(11):1029–1037. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.2143.

Implications for practice and research

  • Medication assisted therapy (MAT) in opioid use disorder (OUD) is an evidence-based lifesaving intervention and may be underused in youth. More research is needed to uncover barriers to timely MAT intervention.

  • Limited evidence suggests that programme outcomes (retention and attrition) for timely MAT (buprenorphine, naltrexone or methadone) in youth with OUD are favourable. More research in the youth population (under age 18) is needed.


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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.