Opioid misuse tied to lower fear of heroin

  • Kapadia SN & al.
  • Addict Behav
  • 28 Jan 2019

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Prescription opioid misuse in adults and adolescents is associated with lower perceived risk for harm from trying heroin.

Why this matters

  • Multiple studies have shown that misuse of prescription opioids is associated with subsequent heroin use.

Study design

  • Study of 84,312 adults and 27,814 adolescents from the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  • Funding: National Institute of Mental Health.

Key results

  • Overall, 87.9% of adults and 65.2% of adolescents perceived a great risk for harm from trying heroin.
  • A significantly fewer number of adults with pain reliever misuse perceived risk for harm from trying heroin vs those without (82.4% vs 88.1%; P<.0001>
  • 68.9% of adolescents with pain reliever misuse perceived great risk for harm from trying heroin vs 65.1% of those without (P=.024).
  • Pain reliever misuse was associated with a significantly lower perceived risk for harm from trying heroin (adults: aOR, 0.760 [P=.013]; adolescents: aOR, 0.817 [P=.042]).
  • Adults with pain reliever abuse or dependence showed a lower perceived risk for harm from trying heroin (aOR, 0.48; P=.048), but not adolescents.
  • Adults with prescription painkiller misuse were more likely to perceive great risk for harm from regular heroin (aOR, 0.539; P<.001>

Limitations

  • Survey-based study.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD

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