Study Supports Need for More Control Over Prescription Pain-Relievers for Teens
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2013 Nov 08
Teens who are prescribed pain relievers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, are at "notable risk" for abusing opioid drugs, says a University of Michigan researcher.
Carol Boyd, U-M professor of nursing and women's studies and a research scientist at the U-M Addiction Research Center, says there are many reasons why adolescents misuse opioid prescriptions—including increased tolerance to the medication, which can lead to continued use of the drug after the initial prescription is finished.
"There is evidence that once an adolescent has been medically exposed to a potentially addictive medication, adolescents are more likely to engage in nonmedical use and diversion, including buying, selling and giving away pills," said Boyd.
The study found that all teens who use prescribed opioids had substance use and behavioral disorders that, while not as severe as nonmedical sensation seekers, were significantly higher than youth who had never received a prescription for an opioid painkiller.
When factoring in gender differences among medical users, girls with opioid prescriptions were at greater risk for some behavioral problems that were different from their male counterparts.