Public Health
publicado em 27/07/2011 às 13h00:00
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Misuse of analgesics leads to the consumption of hard drugs

Study suggests link between excess pain medication and the first contact of young people injecting drugs like heroin

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Researchers at the School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA, said the abuse of painkillers can be a gateway to the use of injected drugs? Like heroin. The study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy addresses the initiation of young users in the use of injectable drugs. Common characteristics identified in this group included a family history of drug abuse and previous use of opioid drugs. The results reinforce the need to combat the misuse of drugs, especially during adolescence.

"The individuals were raised in environments where it was common misuse of drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol. Access to prescription drugs to others, such as family members, promote the use of drugs." explains the study's principal investigator, Stephen Lankenau, associate professor in the School of Public Health.

The Misuse of opioids is a concern for public health by increasing the association of drugs with dependence on hard drugs. Some research has focused on the initial conditions that lead people to make such misuse. However, descriptive data about the initiation into the misuse of opioids are scarce.

To fill this gap, the researchers of this study interviewed 50 young drug users, aged between 16 and 25 years in the cities of New York and Los Angeles. The participants had abused the use of a drug prescribed at least three times in the last three months. These users were recruited in natural environments such as parks, streets and university campuses during 2008 and 2009.

The authors conclude that prevention of the use of opioids, especially during adolescence, is necessary, and that parents and school officials need to closely watch the young beyond prescription drugs to keep their distance, especially at home because the home environment is a place where drug use is normal and relationship problems often occur. Future research will examine the misuse of opioids among teenagers and young adults to understand the contextual and environmental factors that favor the use of drugs to be developed solutions to this problem.

To read this story in full (in English), click aqui.

   Palavras-chave:   Opioid painkillers    Heroin    Drug addiction   
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