Addiction Medicine Treatment Increased Among Adolescents During COVID-19

Telehealth usage for addiction treatment increased among insured adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, with federal regulations allowing for more flexibility in treating substance use disorders. Telemedicine led to greater access to care and potentially reduced substance use. However, racial and ethnic disparities in treatment persist, with Latino/Hispanic adolescents having lower initiation rates and Black adolescents facing lower engagement rates. While telehealth helped bridge treatment gaps, retention rates were shorter for Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, and other/unknown adolescents compared to White adolescents. More research is needed to understand the impact of telehealth on adolescent addiction treatment, especially among uninsured populations.

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