San Bernardino County Youth Opioid Response: Improving Access to Evidence-Based Medical Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Cureus. 2020 Aug 16;12(8):e9781. doi: 10.7759/cureus.9781.


Opioid use disorder (OUD) and related overdose deaths have become a crisis of epidemic proportions in the United States. In 2018, over 10 million people age 12 years or older misused opioids.Substance use is also correlated with increased physical and mental health disorders, and developmental challenges among youths. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been reported to reduce mortality, opioid use, and human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus transmission while increasing treatment retention in adults. The San Bernardino County Youth Opioid Response (SBCYOR) program was formed to explore best practices for youths at risk of opioid use disorders and/or overdose. SBCYOR is a coalition of professionals in healthcare, behavioral health, public education, law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, and juvenile detention centers throughout San Bernardino County, California. SBCYOR focuses on high-risk and addicted individuals between the ages of 12 to 24 years in San Bernardino County's correctional system. It utilizes a strategy of collaboration, prevention, risk mitigation, medication, psychological treatment, and community outreach. This study aimed to evaluate the implementation and progress of SBCYOR.

Keywords: adolescence; buprenorphine; harm reduction; medication-assisted treatment; opioid use disorder; youth.

Grants and funding

This study was funded by a grant from California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, California Youth Opioid Response Services. Michael M. Neeki is the program director.