Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a serious national crisis and often originates with substance use in adolescence. A considerable body of research exists on effective interventions for preventing, screening for, and treating adolescent OUD. However, use of evidence-based treatment is very low among adolescents. In addition, little up-to-date, objective, outcome-relevant information is available to guide communities and families on preventing and treating adolescent OUD.
Our policy partners at the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) have been supporting the efforts of Franklin, Pickaway, and Warren Counties in Ohio to develop county-specific plans to address OUD in their adolescent populations—a critical policy and practice need expressed by stakeholders in those communities. To provide information on evidence-based strategies to inform the development of these plans, we systematically reviewed literature and other resources to identify promising interventions aimed to prevent, intervene early (such as screening and referral), and treat adolescent OUD. This report includes information on the interventions identified through our review, as well as additional resources and considerations for Ohio counties on the potential implementation of these interventions. We hope this information will help counties across the United States make decisions about how to prevent and treat adolescent OUD.