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Open Access Young Adults' Opioid Prescription History and Opioid Misuse Perceptions

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Objectives: In this study, we investigated perceptions of prescription opioid misuse among young adults who had or had not been prescribed opioids in the past. Methods: Participants from a national online panel, age 18-34 (N = 1220), completed a survey about their medical use of opioids and their perceptions of the risks and prevalence of opioid misuse and dependence. Associations between prescription history and perceptions of opioids were tested using generalized ordered logistic models. Results:Most respondents reported receiving at least one prescription for opioids in their lifetime (68%), with 57% reporting past-year prescriptions. Re spondents with more lifetime prescriptions perceived higher rates of misuse and dependence. More lifetime prescriptions were associated with lower perceived risk of occasional prescription opioid misuse but higher perceived risk for regular misuse. Conclusions: Prior experience with receiving a prescription for opioid pain relievers is associated with young adults' perceptions of opioid misuse. Taking prescription opioids, even as directed, provides young adults with expo- sure to the drugs that may shape these perceptions both by increasing awareness of the drug and through exposure to misuse of the drug.

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Keywords: OPIOID MISUSE; PERCEIVED PREVALENCE; PERCEIVED RISK OF HARM; PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Manager, Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC;, Email: [email protected] 2: Managing Director, Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 3: Research Associate, Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 4: Research Analyst, Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 5: Vallone, Chief Research Officer, Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 6: Senior Vice President, Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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