Chronic Pain — 02 November 2013

By Pat Anson, Editor

Over 10 percent of the teens and young adults treated in a hospital emergency room admitted to misusing a prescription painkiller or sedative in the past year, according to a new study at the University of Michigan. The vast majority had no prescription for the drugs.

“Misuse” included taking the drugs to get high, taking more of the drug than was prescribed, or taking drugs prescribed to someone else. Less than 15% of those who admitted misusing painkillers actually had a prescription for the drug.

Researchers surveyed 2,135 young people aged 14 to 20 who were treated in the emergency room for any reason at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor in 2010-2011. Their study, which is published online in the journal Pediatrics, is believed to be the first to look at pediatric misuse of medication in an emergency department setting.

School-based studies have found rates of prescription drug misuse among young people to be about 8 percent. But those studies miss those who have dropped out of school or did not continue their education past high school.

Read more at National Pain Report.

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About Author

Pat Anson, Editor

Pat is Editor in Chief of American News Report. He is a veteran journalist and a former correspondent and producer for HealthWeek (PBS), Nightly Business Report (PBS) and other nationally syndicated shows. Pat has won numerous journalism awards, including a Golden Mike award for investigative reporting.

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