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Relationship between underage drinking and prescription pain pill use examined

Substance use is often co-occurring—use of one substance related to use of another. In this study, researchers used advanced statistical techniques and a large U.S. epidemiological dataset to examine the role that underage drinking and alcohol dependence plays in the development and trajectory of prescription pain reliever use. They found that alcohol use disorder associated with prescription pain reliever use was either especially persistent, or resistant to treatment. This study offers a lesson for both prevention and medical professionals: consider the interaction between substances used by patients.

The article, “Underage drinking, alcohol dependence, and young people starting to use prescription pain relievers extra-medically: A zero-inflated Poisson regression model,” was published in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Research & Resources