Monnat study on opioid misuse initiation published in JAD
A new study co-authored by Shannon Monnat and published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, may help inform new approaches to preventing opioid abuse by identifying those at a higher risk of misusing the drugs for the first time.
The study, "Opioid misuse initiation: Implications for intervention," found that most opioid misuse begins before age 25 among young people who are already misusing a variety of other substances such as alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. Further, the study found that while the vast majority first misused prescription painkillers (rather than heroin), most acquired them through friends or family free of charge rather than through a healthcare provider
The study authors write, therefore, that high schools and colleges may be an important venue for delivering prevention programs, and these programs should especially target young people who are already misusing alcohol and other substances since they are at highest risk of transitioning to opioids.