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Maine Teen Addicts Part of National Study


By Meredith Goad

November 5, 2008   Adolescent addicts in Maine were part of a national study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that examined a new treatment for opioid dependency.

Suboxone, an alternative to methadone, is used to treat addiction to substances such as heroin, oxycontin and vicodin. The new drug was given to 30 adolescent patients at the Mercy Recovery Center in Westbrook for up to three months. They also received group and individual counseling twice a week.

The teens experienced dramatically reduced rates of both short-term and long-term relapse.

Dr. Mark Publicker, director of the recovery center and co-author of the study, said Maine is experiencing “an epidemic of opioid addiction” in young people.

There are 6,000 opioid addicts age 12 to 17 in Maine, and another 13,000 age 18 to 25, according to the recovery center.

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