Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rural teens found more likely to abuse prescription drugs than urban teens

John Gever, senior editor of MedPage Today, wrote an article on Nov. 1 entitled "Rx Drug Abuse Heaviest in Rural Teens."

He cites the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which turned up some very interesting data. According to Gever, researchers found that while there is little difference in lifetime alcohol and illicit drug use between youth in urban, suburban/small metropolitan and rural communities, rural teens are more at risk for non-medical use of prescription medications.

Rx drug abuse among rural teens was found to be correlated with factors such as household income, school dropouts, etc. There is no conclusive evidence regarding causation, though, if my understanding of the study's conclusions are correct.

Jennifer Havens, PhD, MPH, of the University of Kentucky at Lexington, is quoted by Gever as having said that intervention "may be difficult for rural areas where (. . .) resources are in short supply or nonexistent."

Click here to read the full article.

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