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IU School of Medicine researchers are taking steps to improve the accessibility and quality of care for adolescents experiencing opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUDs), thanks to a new $5 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative.

The grant will fund the new project “Workforce and System Change to Treat Adolescent Opioid Use Disorder within Integrated Pediatric Primary Care” led by faculty from the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Pediatrics. The $5 million will be awarded across 5 years, with formative work happening in the first year before transitioning into a clinical trial phase.

“Addressing the growing risk of overdose deaths among adolescents has become a critical concern, and Indiana unfortunately has one of the ten highest rates of adolescent overdose deaths in the United States,” said Zachary Adams, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at Indiana School of Medicine and one of the principal investigators of the project. “The HEAL Initiative represents a significant federal investment to tackle the opioid crisis, enhance health care outcomes and combat the increasing overdose deaths among adolescents.

The goal of this initiative revolves around making pediatric integrated behavioral care more accessible to children and adolescents. This entails providing mental health and substance use screenings, assessments and treatment through Indiana University Health primary care clinics–in partnership with behavioral health specialists–empowering the primary care system to play a pivotal role in early detection and intervention.

The project includes a multi-faceted approach, including changing how pediatricians talk to their patients about substance use, implementing a case management system to ensure comprehensive care for adolescents experiencing SUD and OUD, increasing consultations between health care providers and utilizing telehealth services to reach adolescents in need of care.

Indiana University (IU) researchers have secured a significant $2.45 million grant dedicated to enhancing care for adolescents grappling with opioid use disorder. The grant represents a crucial investment in addressing the unique challenges faced by young individuals struggling with opioid addiction. The research aims to improve treatment outcomes, advance understanding of adolescent-specific factors influencing opioid use disorder, and ultimately contribute to more effective and tailored interventions.

The article details the specific focus areas of the research, highlighting IU’s commitment to advancing care practices for adolescents facing opioid use disorder. By leveraging this grant, the researchers intend to make meaningful strides in the development of evidence-based strategies that consider the distinctive needs of young individuals dealing with opioid addiction.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, RehabNear.Me is here to help. Call us at 855-339-1112, and our compassionate team will provide guidance and connect you with appropriate addiction treatment resources tailored to your unique needs. Seeking help is a courageous step towards a brighter and healthier future. Reach out today.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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