Teens increasingly abuse prescription painkillers
Today's teens and young people are abusing prescription painkillers more than any other age group or any other youth in history. Availability of these drugs from their parents' medicine cabinets may be to blame, according to new research in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Prescription painkillers are the second most abused drugs by adolescents in the U.S., only behind marijuana, reports the study. In fact, use of prescription painkillers by teens between the ages of 12 and 17 has jumped 10-fold since the 1960s.
"I think many parents just don't realize how dangerous unsecured prescription drugs are to their children and their children's friends," said lead author Richard Miech, Ph.D. of the University of Colorado in Denver.
Researchers used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 1985 to 2009 and analyzed the prevalence of nonmedical painkiller use for all age groups, genders and races. They found that for youth born between 1980 and 1994, the use of painkillers was 40 percent higher than any other age group and any youth that came before them. This trend was present for both genders and among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics.
"The fact that the trend is present across all racial and ethnic groups [just] highlights that this is a problem that affects everyone," Miech said.The study concluded that one cause of the epidemic is the increasing availability of prescription painkillers in medicine cabinets at home. The researchers say more intervention is needed to make parents aware of the problem.
Ruth Gassman, Ph.D., executive director of the Indiana Prevention Resource Center in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, said there are a variety of steps parents can take to limit children's access to these drugs.
"For instance, parents should keep track of the quantity of pills in a bottle and the frequency of refills," she said. "If you discover that you have to refill medication more often than anticipated, this may be a sign that someone is taking these medications without your knowledge."
Parents can also set clear rules for children about not sharing medicine and always following the prescribed dosage—and parents should also abide by these same rules, Gassman added.
"Ultimately I think we need to change attitudes toward prescription drugs and, hence, their demand," Miech said. "It's not an easy thing to do, but not doing it looks to be quite costly in terms of lost lives and productivity."
More information: Miech R, Bohnert A, Heard K, et al. Increasing use of nonmedical analgesics among younger cohorts in the United States: a birth cohort effect? Journal of Adolescent Health. Oct 16, 2012.
Journal reference: Journal of Adolescent Health
Provided by Health Behavior News Service
- Young people driving epidemic of prescription drug abuse: Abuse of nonmedical analgesics up 40 percent Oct 16, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- More mental health woes in college kids who abuse prescription drugs Jun 19, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Deaths from drug overdose on the rise Jan 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Teen sexual activity and gambling associated with taking nonprescribed medications to get high Nov 18, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Non-medical prescription drug use more common among rural teens than city dwellers Nov 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
Medications 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Merck & Co. says it is ending development of an experimental Parkinson's disease drug because the drug wasn't working.
Medications May 23, 2013 | 1 / 5 (1) | 0
(AP)—Johnson & Johnson is developing what could eventually be game-changing treatments for depression and pain, and it's aiming to apply for approval of more than 10 new medicines by 2017, executives said Thursday during ...
Medications May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
An independent panel of experts on Wednesday recommended US approval of a new Merck sleeping pill called suvorexant, but expressed concerns over the highest dosage and risks of drowsy daytime driving.
Medications May 22, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 5
(HealthDay)—Animals make great companions for senior citizens, but elderly people who always drive with a pet in the car are far more likely to crash than those who never drive with a pet, researchers have ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
May 20, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (30) | 9 |