Pain relief isn't the main reason why one in 10 high school seniors have tried opioid drugs, a new U.S. study finds.

The most common reasons included relaxation, feeling good or getting high, experimentation and then pain relief. Students used drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine and codeine without a prescription, researchers say.

"The results of this study provide compelling evidence that adolescents have a wide range of motives for using prescription opioids non-medically, and these motives should be carefully considered in efforts to reduce this behavior," said study author Sean Esteban McCabe, a research associate professor at the Substance Abuse Research Center of the University of Michigan.

The researchers found that 12.3 percent of the students said they had used opioids for non-medical reasons; 8 percent said they had used them during the past year.

The top reasons for using these drugs were to relax or relieve tension (56.4 percent), to feel good or get high (53.5 percent), to experiment (52.4 percent), to relieve physical pain (44.8 percent) or to have a good time with friends (29.5 percent), McCabe said.

The report is published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Source: U.S. News & World Report
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/08/03/one-in-10-high-school-seniors-have-used-narcotic.html