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Journal of Addiction Medicine reported that young adults often are "self-medicated" to manage pain.
A study by Marshall et al shows that young men are particularly at risk. They studied 199 young adult non-medical prescription opioid (NMPO) users and found 85% had a former injury or health condition that lead to severe pain and NMPO use. About one-fourth of males and one-third of females said that a health professional had denied them medication to treat severe pain. Many did not have health insurance.
NMPO use was higher in young males, especially white. For women, older age and non-medical use of benzodiazepines -- a class of sedative drugs -- were risk factors for frequent NMPO use.