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Rural Teens More Likely to Abuse Prescription Drugs

By November 16, 2010

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Teens who live in rural areas are more likely to use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes that their peers who live in urban areas. Researchers speculate that the reason for the difference may be due to the lack of availability of illicit drugs in rural areas.

However, the study found no difference between rural and urban teens in the use of illicit drugs.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine analyzed National Survey on Drug Use and Health results from 17,872 teens, who were 53.2% urban dwellers, 51% male and 59% white.

The study found that 13% of rural teens, aged 12 to 17, misused prescription drugs, compared to 10% of urban teens. There was no difference between the two groups in rates of use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens.

Linked to Other Behaviors

Rural teens were more likely to use pain relievers, 11.5% compared to 10.3%, and more likely to use tranquilizers, 3.5% compared to 2.5%.

Non-medical use of prescription drugs among this age group is a problem because it has been shown in other studies to lead to the use of illicit drugs, especially cocaine and heroin. It is also linked to gambling, increased sexual activity and impulsivity, the study said.

Also, if teens begin using prescription drugs early in life, they have a much greater chance of becoming addicted.

The researchers also found that rural teens were significantly less likely to use prescription drugs if they lived in a household with two parents and if they were enrolled in school.

The study was published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine online edition in November 2010.

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November 16, 2010 at 3:04 am
(1) CandyKisses says:

I feel if & when a person feels they are ready they will work on getting sober.They need to want to get sober first,not too many people can be talked into going to AA unless they so choose.It took quite a few years and a lot of tries before I settled into the fact I was a drunk & police knew me nation wide & computers made it harder for me to slip or sneak through the cracks,I had to lose every thing before I actually admitted defeat,it was only then I fully surrendered & my first real try in treatment I saw a bright light & said I’m home to stay this time.Top shelf because I’m a survivor.It’s not totally true that 99% of drunks get cirrhosis of the liver,I have had cirrhosis since birth its a virus(algae)doctors missed school when treatments were appropriately advised.Alcoholism is:mentally,physically & spiritually.
During my journey through hell & suffering there is peace & enlightenment. Peace….

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