Teens who are prescribed opioid painkillers may be at greater risk of future opioid misuse, a new study suggests. Use of painkillers in high school was associated with a 33 percent increased risk of later misuse.
The greatest risk was among teens with little or no history of drug use, and those who strongly disapproved of illegal drug use, according to HealthDay.
The study included data from more than 6,200 high school seniors, who were followed until they were 23. Lead researcher Richard Miech of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said the finding may be explained in part by the novelty of the effects of drug use. In teens with no exposure to drugs, a prescription opioid is likely to be their first experience with an addictive substance, he said.