Prescription Pain Relievers & Young Adults
Are prescription medications disappearing from your medicine cabinet?
Trends over the past 5 years show an increase in misuse by young adults age 18 to 25.
According to a recent report from SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies (OAS), Trends in Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers: 2002-2007, young adults age 18 to 25 currently using pain relievers for nonmedical reasons increased from 4.1 percent in 2002 to 4.6 percent in 2007. The report is based on a series of nationwide surveys.
That percentage represents a total of 1.5 million young adults who used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past month in 2007.
Among youth age 12 to 17, the report shows encouraging findings in that nonmedical use of pain relievers in the past month had declined from 3.2 percent in 2002 to 2.7 percent in 2007.
Overall, 5.2 million people age 12 years or older reported using prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past month in 2007.
Trends in Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers: 2002-2007 highlights nonmedical use of pain relievers in the past month among people age 12 or older.
Other findings include:
Use among adults age 26 or older increased from 1.3 percent to 1.6 percent; and the rate of use increased among males age 12 or older from 2.0 percent in 2002 to 2.6 percent in 2007, but did not change significantly for females in that age group.
This report is drawn from SAMHSA’s 2002 through 2007 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Data collected by NSDUH come from a total sample of approximately 405,000 people who represent the Nation’s civilian, non-institutionalized population age 12 or older.
Read Trends in Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers: 2002-2007. Visit SAMHSA’s Web site for additional information about prescription drug safety.