- 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 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.
- 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>
- Survey-based study.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD