Teenagers who smoke or drink are two to three times more likely to abuse prescription painkillers later on in life, new research shows.
Researchers from Yale University analyzed information collected from young adults aged 18 to 25 from the 2006-2008 U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
About 12 percent of the young adults surveyed said they currently abused prescription opioids. Of those, 57 percent had abused alcohol as teens; 56 percent smoked cigarettes and 34 percent used marijuana.
About 3.5 million young adults abuse prescription opioids, “and this number is growing,” study lead author Dr. Lynn Fiellin, associate professor of medicine at Yale, said in a university news release.