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Published Online:https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20150106-01Cited by:4

Abstract

Casually exposing adolescents to prescription opioid agents may escalate to daily use. A trend exists for adolescents using prescription opioid agents to substitute heroin because it is significantly cheaper than pills (approximately half of the cost) and is often more readily available. Additionally, it is more potent than most prescription opioid agents and carries increased risks of overdose and death. Although treatment for substance use disorders has traditionally centered on total abstinence, opioid replacement therapy (ORT) is an option that saves lives and prevents overdose deaths. In the United States, ORT is based on two medicines: methadone and buprenorphine. These drugs can be substituted for other opiate agents and have much lower overdose risks. Nursing implications and web-based resources for teaching are presented. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 53(2), 27–30.]

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