According to a new study, thirteen percent of high school seniors have used opioids for non-medical reasons. In actuality, one in four high school seniors have used prescription painkillers for both medical and non-medical reasons.
The study was conducted by the University of Michigan and consisted of 7,373 high school seniors. According to researchers, 80 percent of the teens used opioids for non-medical purposes after initially using them for medical purposes. The original medical purpose was obtained from old prescriptions for pain killers. The study also found that students who used opioids for non-medical reasons were more likely “to smoke marijuana or cigarettes, or to binge drink, compared with teens who had only taken painkillers under a doctor’s supervision, or did not take the drugs at all” (Reuters).
According to the 23rd annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, teen drug abuse has plateaued at a steady 17 percent for prescription drugs and 12 percent for over-the-counter medications like cough and cold medicines. In the past, teens have been found to abuse prescription pain relievers such as Vicodin and OxyContin.
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To read the study published in Archives of Pediactrics and Adolescent Medicine, click here.