Academic Commons

Articles

Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use in Childhood and Early Adolescence Predicts Transitions to Heroin Use in Young Adulthood: A National Study

Cerdá, Magdalena; Tenorio, Julian Santaella; Marshall, Brandon D. L.; Kim, June H.; Martins, Silvia S.

Objectives: To examine the relationship between nonmedical use of prescription opioids and heroin initiation from childhood to young adulthood, and to test whether certain ages, racial/ethnic, and income groups were at higher risk for this transition. Study design: Among a nationally representative sample of US adolescents assessed in the 2004-2011 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health cross-sectional surveys (n = 223 534 respondents aged 12-21 years), discrete-time hazard models were used to estimate the age-specific hazards of heroin initiation associated with prior history of nonmedical use of prescription opioids. Interactions were estimated between prior history of nonmedical use of prescription opioids and age of nonmedical use of prescription opioid initiation, race/ethnicity, and income. Results: A prior history of nonmedical use of prescription opioids was strongly associated with heroin initiation (hazard ratio 13.12, 95% CI 10.73, 16.04). Those initiating nonmedical use of prescription opioids at ages 10-12 years had the highest risk of transitioning to heroin use; the association did not vary by race/ethnicity or income group. Conclusions: Prior use of nonmedical use of prescription opioids is a strong predictor of heroin use onset in adolescence and young adulthood, regardless of the user's race/ethnicity or income group. Primary prevention of nonmedical use of prescription opioids in late childhood may prevent the onset of more severe types of drug use such as heroin at later ages. Moreover, because the peak period of heroin initiation occurs at ages 17-18 years, secondary efforts to prevent heroin use may be most effective if they focus on young adolescents who already initiated nonmedical use of prescription opioids.

Files

  • thumnail for Cerdá_Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use in Childhood and Early Adolescence Predicts Transitions to Heroin Use in Young Adulthood A National Study..pdf Cerdá_Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use in Childhood and Early Adolescence Predicts Transitions to Heroin Use in Young Adulthood A National Study..pdf application/pdf 414 KB Download File

More Information

Published In
The Journal of Pediatrics
Publisher DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.04.071
Volume
167
Issue
3
Pages
605 - 612
Academic Units
Epidemiology
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.