Teens Still Commonly Prescribed Opioids, Study Finds

From 2005 to 2015, nearly 15 percent of teens and young adults received an opioid prescription during an emergency room visit

Opioid Protest
Patrick Semansky/AP, File

Opioid prescriptions remain common for teens and young adults, a new study finds.

NBC News reported that, from 2005 to 2015, nearly 15 percent of teens and young adults received an opioid prescription during an emergency room visit, according to the study, published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics. That’s compared with 3 percent among those who were seen in an outpatient clinic.

What’s more, ER visits for dental issues resulted in an opioid prescription nearly 60 percent of the time.

“Adolescents and young adults are such a high-risk population for opioid misuse and future addiction,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Joel Hudgins, a clinical instructor at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “We found the rates of opioid prescriptions were pretty high, at 15 percent, which is right in line with adult data.”

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