Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is an increasingly important tool for addressing addiction to opiates, including powerfully potent Fentanyl, the chief driver of a significant spike in drug-overdose deaths in the United States in recent years. Consider the steadily rising number of fentanyl overdose deaths recorded in metro Denver alone since 2019:
- 2019 – 56 deaths
- 2020 – 159 deaths
- 2021 – 235 deaths
Fentanyl, an opioid pain reliever, is highly potent. The drug is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. A dose the size of just a few grains of sand could kill. Fentanyl is made in laboratories and is not plant-based. It is involved in more deaths of Americans under age 50 than any other cause, including heart disease and cancer, and it has taken a terrible toll on American youth. Fentanyl-related deaths are growing fastest among Americans ages 14-23.
In this video, Dr. Christian Thurstone explains why and how he and his colleagues present Medication-Assisted Treatment to adolescent patients and their family members.
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