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Monnat study on opioid misuse initiation published in Journal of Addictive Diseases

May 15, 2019

Opioid misuse initiation: Implications for intervention

Khary K. Rigg, Katherine McLean, Shannon M. Monnat, Glenn E Sterner III & Ashton M. Verdery

Journal of Addictive Diseases, May 2019

Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat

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.