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Addict Behav. 2017 Feb;65:296-301. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.08.021. Epub 2016 Aug 15.

Medical and nonmedical use of prescription sedatives and anxiolytics: Adolescents' use and substance use disorder symptoms in adulthood.

Author information

1
University of Michigan, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Substance Abuse Research Center, Ann Arbor 48109, MI, USA. Electronic address: plius@umich.edu.
2
University of Michigan, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Ann Arbor 48109, MI, USA.
3
University of Michigan, School of Nursing, Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Ann Arbor 48109, MI, USA.
4
University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, Department of Psychology, Ann Arbor 48106, MI, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study assessed the longitudinal associations between medical and nonmedical use of prescription sedatives/anxiolytics (NMPSA) during adolescence (age 18) and substance use disorder (SUD) symptoms during adulthood (age 35).

METHODS:

Multiple cohorts of nationally representative samples of U.S. high school seniors (n=8373) were surveyed via self-administered questionnaires and followed longitudinally from adolescence (age 18, 1976-1996) to adulthood (age 35, 1993-2013).

RESULTS:

An estimated 20.1% of adolescents reported lifetime medical or nonmedical use of prescription sedatives/anxiolytics. Among adolescents who reported medical use of prescription sedatives/anxiolytics, 44.9% also reported NMPSA by age 18. Based on multivariate analyses that included age 18 sociodemographic and other substance use controls, medical use of prescription sedatives/anxiolytics without any history of NMPSA during adolescence was not associated with SUD symptoms in adulthood relative to adolescents with no prescription sedative/anxiolytic use. In contrast, adolescents with a history of both medical and nonmedical use of prescription sedatives/anxiolytics and adolescents who reported only NMPSA had between two to three times greater odds of SUD symptoms in adulthood relative to adolescents with no prescription sedative/anxiolytic use and those who reported only medical use of prescription sedatives/anxiolytics.

CONCLUSIONS:

One in every five U.S. high school seniors reported ever using prescription sedatives/anxiolytics either medically or nonmedically. This study provides compelling evidence that the medical use of prescription sedatives/anxiolytics (without any NMPSA) during adolescence is not associated with increased risk of SUD symptoms in adulthood while any NMPSA during adolescence serves as a signal for SUDs in adulthood.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiolytic; Longitudinal; Medical use; Nonmedical use; Sedative; Substance use disorders

PMID:
27569697
PMCID:
PMC5462596
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.08.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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