Date of Graduation

Summer 8-11-2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Public Health

First Advisor

Alexa Curtis


As the opioid epidemic continues to have devastating effects on our communities, medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUDs) are severely underutilized especially for adolescents. Unlike adults, minors need parental approval before obtaining MOUDs presenting a key barrier to timely treatment. Being able to treat adolescents as soon as they are ready is critically important for people with OUD, and while cost and other barriers have been addressed in the literature, there is a paucity on how parental consent affects the accessibility of treatment. This paper aims to explore a potential policy in California that addresses the lack of access for adolescents. A health policy analysis format was used to compare and assess each policy option through a criteria of feasibility, effectiveness, relevance, and impact. Peer-reviewed articles and public health data was utilized for this analysis. After a comparison of two policy options, the more favorable option was a revision to California’s minor consent laws to allow providers to confidentially treat addicted youth, 16 and older, with buprenorphine. This analysis showed how this policy will likely be more effective in narrowing the treatment gap among older adolescents. Recommendations, implications and potential limitations were also discussed.