By Christine Judge
Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS
NEJM Journal Watch
Parental medical use of prescription opioids confers excess risk for their adolescents’ medical use and misuse of prescription opioids, according to a study in JAMA Network Open.
Some 15,000 pairs of U.S. parents and adolescents (aged 12–17) were surveyed in 2015–2017 about their past 12-month medical use and misuse of prescription opioids.
Among the findings:
- Prevalence of 12-month prescription opioid use was 36% among parents and 19% among adolescents.
- Parental medical prescription opioid use was associated with a 28% increased likelihood of adolescent medical use of prescription opioids and a 58% increased risk for adolescent misuse, after controlling for substance use, psychosocial factors, and sociodemographics.
- Parental misuse was not significantly associated with adolescent misuse.
The authors conclude: “Findings suggest several targets for preventing adolescent prescription opioid misuse,” including limiting opioid prescribing to parents.