You have all seen the reports about the opiate epidemic in our country and more importantly in our region. At Wareham Pediatrics, we see the impact of opiate use in our communities; from babies born addicted to opiates from maternal use, to children placed in foster care as a result of parental drug use, and sadly the effects of drug use in our adolescent population. In response to this growing problem, Dr. Reynolds and Mendes have collaborated with the Pediatric Physician’s Organization at Children’s, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, and the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children’s Hospital to provide drug use treatment in our office.
They have both undergone training to become certified to offer medical treatment for substance use disorder in collaboration with our behavioral health providers. Based on national and local survey data it is estimated that almost half of high school students have smoked marijuana and 15% have used prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them. Several studies have shown that the adolescent brain is more susceptible to addiction than the adult brain, so adolescent use of drugs is more likely to result in life-long use disorders. While we feel privileged to have been selected by the ASAP program for this collaboration, it is important that we work with parents and schools to prevent drug use in our teens. Educating yourself about the risks of drug use, the signs of drug use, and how to talk to your children about drug use is very important. If you suspect that your child may have a problem with drug use, please contact the office and ask to speak with your triage nurse who can help schedule a confidential appointment for evaluation. If you would like to learn more about adolescent drug use and talking to your child about drugs, please see these two links: