CONTACT Treating the youth Fentanyl epidemic with MAT - Dr. Christian Thurstone

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.

About Christine Tatum

Christine Tatum is a veteran journalist whose communications and market intel firm, Media Salad, Inc., helps companies and nonprofit organizations win business and stay ahead of their competitors. Her professional stops include the Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, the (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald and the (Greensboro, N.C.) News & Record. Her work also has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, and New York Times.

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