Treatment of opioid dependence in adolescents and young adults with extended release naltrexone: preliminary case-series and feasibility


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Abstract

BackgroundOpioid dependence is an increasing problem among adolescents and young adults, but in contrast to the standard in the adult population, adoption of pharmacotherapies has been slow. Extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) is a promising treatment that has been receiving increasing interest for adult opioid dependence. Clinical chart abstractions were performed on a convenience sample of 16 serial adolescent and young adult cases (mean age 18.5 years) treated for opioid dependence with XR-NTX who attended at least one out-patient clinical follow-up visit.Case descriptionsOf these 16 cases, 10 of 16 (63%) were retained in treatment for at least 4 months and nine of 16 (56%) had a ‘good’ outcome defined as having substantially decreased opioid use, improvement in at least one psychosocial domain and no new problems due to substance use.ConclusionsThese descriptive results suggest that XR-NTX in the treatment of adolescents and young adults with opioid dependence is well tolerated over a period of 4 months and feasible in a community-based treatment setting, and associated with good outcomes in a preliminary, small non-controlled case-series. This probably reflects an overall trend towards greater adoption of medication treatments for this population.

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