Despite the well-documented detrimental effects of opioid abuse, misuse of prescription opioids remains high among adolescents and young adults. While much progress was made in preventing diversion of prescription opioids by shutting-down pill mills, implementing prescription drug monitoring programs, and holding pharmaceutical companies criminally liable for the opioid epidemic, continued access to friends’ and family members’ prescription opioids remains an important driver of prescription opioid abuse among adolescents and young adults. According to a recent analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health [NSDUH], the majority of 12-25 year olds who misused prescription opioids in 2015-16 reported receiving those opioids from friends and family members. By securing and properly disposing of medication, we can ensure that our youth, the future leaders of our society, are protected from becoming another statistic in the greatest public health crisis of our time. To access research article, click here.
Source: Hudgins, J. D., Porter, J. J., Monuteaux, M. C., & Bourgeois, F. T. (2019). Prescription opioid use and misuse among adolescents and young adults in the United States: A national survey study. PLOS Medicine, 16(11). doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002922