Teen Opioid Prescriptions Raise Risk of Later Opioid Misuse

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse Dec. 28, 2015

Teens who received a prescription for opioid pain medication by Grade 12 were at 33 percent increased risk of misusing an opioid between ages 19 and 25. Strikingly, the risk was found to be most concentrated among teens who would be expected to be at low risk of drug misuse.

These findings add weight to current concerns about opioid prescribing across healthcare settings and suggest the need for caution among providers working with pediatric populations and providing advice/education about these substances when prescribing. Young patients who are already wary of illicit drug use may be particularly receptive to cautionary messages about misusing opioids.

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