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High levels of opioid prescribing pose dangers for adolescents and young adults

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: September 2019 - Volume 119 - Issue 9 - p 13
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000580200.86256.df
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High levels of opioid prescribing pose dangers for adolescents and young adults. Prescribing data for adolescents (13 to 17 years) and young adults (18 to 22 years) seeking care in EDs and outpatient clinics between 2005 and 2015 indicate that some 52 million visits were associated with an opioid prescription, according to a study in the June issue of Pediatrics. The rate of opioid prescribing was 14.9% for ED visits and 2.8% for outpatient clinics. Among the most common reasons for these prescriptions were abdominal pain, dental problems, and fractures. The study authors note that “adolescents and young adults are at high risk for opioid misuse and abuse after exposure from medical treatment.” Because the study only used data through 2015, it does not reflect the effect on prescribing of more recent public concern about opioid misuse.

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