Send to

Choose Destination
Subst Abus. 2015;36(2):141-3. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2014.991058. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

Pharmaceutical Opioids in the Home and Youth: Implications for Adult Medical Practice.

Author information

a Division of General Internal Medicine and Division of Substance Dependence , University of Colorado School of Medicine , Aurora , Colorado , USA.


Pharmaceutical opioid prescribing, opioid use disorders, and related poisonings have increased substantially in the last decade. In particular, pharmaceutical opioid deaths among youth have markedly increased. One area that has received relatively little attention is the role of home safety, given that parents are an important source of opioids for youth. Parents may intentionally share opioids with youth, due to low perceived risks or limited knowledge, and youth may divert opioids from parents' medicine cabinets. Safe medication storage has long been mandated by treatment programs that provide pharmacologically supported treatment of opioid use disorders, but it is not generally encouraged or required for pharmaceutical opioids prescribed for pain. Greater attention is needed on the development, evaluation, and implementation of 3 preventive strategies. These 3 strategies can be delivered in or supported by adult medical practices: (1) fully informing adults prescribed opioids about the risks of opioids to family members and others; (2) providing locked medication safe storage devices; and (3) educating parents on safe disposal options. However, a critical evidence base is still lacking for these opioid safety interventions.


Diversion; opioids; prescription drug abuse

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center