Dr. Jason Reynolds, a doctor from Massachusetts, was shocked when a teenager who he’d been treating as a child had come into the emergency room from an overdose when he was a teenager. It was seeing his beloved patient that Dr. Reynolds tried to re-approach addiction treatment.
As Today reports, Reynolds felt “one of the big holes” in addiction treatment is that a lot of them are geared for adults, and many have cried out for more focus on teen recovery. As one doctor told Today, there are 37,000 doctors who can prescribe medication to treat people suffering from addiction, “and only 1 percent [of those 37,000] are pediatricians.”
In order to fight this, Reynolds wants pediatricians to be trained so they can prescribe meds that can help teens suffering from addiction. Another doctor said this would make it easier for parents to bring their teens to their pediatrician, and added, “It’s the idea that they’re coming to this very familiar, safe place where they’ve had this long relationship. They don’t need to go to a drug treatment program where there’s that kind of stigma involved. It’s just going to the doctor’s office.”
And indeed, one teen suffering from addiction said when he went to his pediatrician for help, “It’s completely relaxed. I feel like I’m at home.” And another teen wished she could approach her pediatrician for help.
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