Initiation of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Opioids Among High School Students — Virginia, 2017
- Using Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data from Virginia, this study found that approximately 12% of high school students reported they had taken prescription opioids without a doctor’s prescription or differently than as prescribed during their lifetime, and 5% of students had misused prescription opioids in the past month.
- The study also found more than 6% of students first misused prescription opioids when they were 14 years old or younger, and students who first misused prescription opioids at younger ages were more likely to have also misused prescription opioids in the past month.
- Prescription opioid misuse among adolescents has been linked with other illicit substance use (such as heroin use), being a victim of violence, sexual risk taking, and other health risk behaviors. Understanding the age at which adolescents first misuse prescription opioids can inform the timing of school-based substance use prevention programs that seek to prevent misuse of prescription opioids.
“Our study is among the first to examine the link between the age at which students first misuse prescription opioids and later misuse. Our results underscore the importance of age-appropriate substance use prevention programs during early adolescence. Schools are an effective setting for these types of substance use prevention programs, but there is a need for more widespread implementation of these programs in order to potentially prevent misuse of prescription opioids among adolescents.”
– Nicholas Deputy, PhD, MPH, EIS Class of 2018
CDC Media Relations
Nicholas Deputy, PhD, MPH,
EIS Class of 2018
CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Adolescent and School Health
Education: PhD: Emory University, 2017
MPH: Boston University, 2009
BS: Boston University, 2008
Work Experience: ORISE Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellowship in CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, Atlanta, Georgia, 2017-Present
ORISE Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellowship in CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, Atlanta, Georgia, 2014-2017
Doctoral Student, Emory University, Decatur, Georgia, 2012-2017
Data Manager and Research Associate for Project Viva, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009-2012