Opioid abuse and overdosing have reached epidemic status in the United States, and this epidemic has profound negative effects on the lives of adolescents and their families. A combination of readily available opioids (including illicit opioids, such as heroin, and overprescribed prescription opioid-based painkillers) and an abuse vulnerability inherent to adolescence drives the problem. The pharmacology of opioids in the context of adolescent brain neurobiology helps explain the enhanced vulnerability to drug abuse experienced by the young. This report overviews these topics as they relate to orthopaedic procedures employed for adolescent patients.
T. Celeste Napier, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
Amanda L. Persons, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, and Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
The authors report no conflict of interest.