17 Jul Teens: Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use Associated With Subsequent Heroin Use
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, MSHS, FAAP
Assistant Professor | Division of Pediatric Surgery
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Department of Surgery & Preventive Medicine
Keck School of Medicine of USC
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Prescription opioids are pharmacologically similar to heroin, and previous research has shown an association between nonmedical opioid use and heroin use.
This is the first study to follow a group of teenagers through all 4 years of high school and identify an association between nonmedical prescription opioid use and later heroin use.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Nonmedical prescription opioid use is risky in teens. Students reporting current nonmedical opioid use showed the highest probability of later heroin use.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research is needed to explore a possible causal pathway from nonmedical opioid use to later heroin use in teenagers. Efforts to minimize access to prescription opioids outside of the healthcare setting merit consideration as a public health priority.
Kelley-Quon LI, Cho J, Strong DR, et al. Association of Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use With Subsequent Heroin Use Initiation in Adolescents. JAMA Pediatr. Published online July 08, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1750
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