Nearly One-Half of Youths Who Have Ever Misused Prescription Pain Relievers Have Also Used Two or More Illicit Drugs

Approximately one-tenth of U.S. youths ages 12 to 17 reported using non-prescribed pain relievers at least once in their lifetime, according to an analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. These youths were significantly more likely than those who did not use non-prescribed pain relievers to also report poly-drug use. For example, 49% of youths who used non-prescribed pain relievers also reported using two or more illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime, compared to 4% of youths who did not use non-prescribed pain relievers. 


Source: Adapted by CESAR from Wu, L-T, Pilowsky, D.J., and Patkar, A.A. Non-prescribed use of pain relievers among adolescents in the United States, Drug and Alcohol Dependence 94(1-3):1-11, 2008.

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