The use of heroin by American adolescents is at its highest level since the 1960s. However, the treatment of young heroin users has not been particularly effective, and some treatment providers are reluctant to use the medications they reserve for their older patients, especially for long-term opioid maintenance. This study compares two 3-month treatments for adolescents/young adults who are addicted to heroin. Both groups receive 3 months of psychosocial treatment (individual and/or group drug counseling). In addition, the experimental group receives 3 months of buprenorphine stabilization, while the control group is detoxified from opiates using buprenorphine over a 7 - 14 day period. The researchers believe the use of a 3-month stabilization with buprenorphine/naloxone in combination with psychosocial therapy will more effectively reduce heroin use, help these young people comply with their treatment, and improve their overall adjustment than brief detoxification with buprenorphine.
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