Using demographic and clinical data from the 2006-2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a team of researchers led by Dr. Lynn Fiellin, associate professor of medicine at Yale University, has found that early alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use are all associated, to varying degrees, with a two- to-three times greater likelihood of subsequent abuse of prescription opioids.
With partial support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the study by Dr. Fiellin and her colleagues found that 57 percent of young adult prescription drug abusers had abused alcohol during their teens.
For males, adolescent use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana were all linked with a significantly increased risk for abuse of prescription painkillers. Among females, only teen use of marijuana increased the likelihood of later prescription drug abuse. The study was reported in the August 21, 2012, online edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Data from the 2010 NSDUH show nonmedical use of prescription drugs as the second most prevalent category of illicit drug use. In many communities, state and local concerns about misuse of prescription drugs among young alcohol abusers were included in the programs of 2012 SAMHSA-sponsored underage drinking prevention Town Hall Meetings.
Click here to link to the study.
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