Mental Health Woes Raise Odds for Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Teens and young adults with mental health disorders are at increased risk for long-term use of prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin, according to a new study.

Researchers examined data from more than 62,000 young people, aged 13 to 24, in the Western, Midwestern and Southwestern United States. Those with mental health disorders were more likely to be prescribed opioids for chronic pain and 2.4 times more likely to become long-term opioid users than those without mental health disorders.

Note: See related blog De-stigmatizing Mental Illness Is a Critical Step in New Focus on Treatment vs. Punishment for Addiction available at

Source: HealthDay News – June 8, 2012