The Painkiller Use Among Young Adults Decreases

The Painkiller Use Among Young Adults Decreases

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: March 31, 2016

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, young adult use of painkillers has actually decreased since 2013. This same report indicates that marijuana use has remained stable. These are both good signs. But the need for quality drug rehab treatment for all age groups, including young adults, remains high.

Painkiller Use Prevention Efforts are Working

Painkiller use by young adults has been closely watched as part of a 20-year study called Monitoring the Future. The findings have been encouraging. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora D. Volkow, MD believes that prevention efforts of the past 30 years are starting to have a positive effect. She urges healthcare providers and communities to continue working to educate young adults, parents, teachers, and others about the negative effects of painkiller use, as well as other illicit substances. National Drug Control Policy Acting Director Michael Botticelli agrees that painkiller use is down because of prevention efforts. He said, “This year’s Monitoring the Future data show promising signs on the declining rates of adolescent substance use, and reinforce the need to continue efforts on prevention, treatment, and recovery.” Director Botticelli continued by saying, “I encourage parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors to have a conversation with young people in their lives about making the healthy decisions that will keep them on a path toward a successful future.”

Specific Painkiller Use Statistics

Monitoring the Future findings on painkiller abuse indicated the narcotics category of drugs were used by only 6.1% of seniors in high school, as compared to 7.1% in 2013. Both of these statistics are significant improvements over the 2004 statistic of 9.5% painkiller abuse among young adults. Vicodin abuse is far less prevalent than in past years. This painkiller was only used by 4.8% of non-prescribed 12th grade students, as opposed to 9.7% in 2009.

Painkiller Use Compared to Other Substances

MDMA, also known as Molly or ecstasy, was used less by 10th graders than in 2013. In 2013, 3.6% of young adults had used the drug in the month prior to being surveyed. In 2014, only 2.3% of the same age group used these drugs. These figures are part of a steady decline from the past 13 years, with 6.2% of young adults having used Molly use in 2001. Use of the drug known as K2 or Spice, also called synthetic marijuana, has declined. Less than 8% of 12th grade students used Spice in 2013. Only 5.8% of the same age group used the drug in 2014. Both years indicate a sharp drop from 2012 use by 11.3% of high school seniors. Bath salt stimulants and the hallucinogen salvia also significantly declined.

What These Figures Mean

These promising figures of decline across many forms of drug use obviously shed positive light on the benefits of drug education for young adults. If these trends continue, painkiller abuse by young adults may very well become more of a rare occurrence. For young adults who are stuck in the cycle of painkiller addiction, it is imperative to provide them with the necessary treatment. If your loved one is 18 years of age or older and addicted to painkillers, call Lakeview Health today at 866.704.7692 . Don’t let them become a tragic statistic – empower them with a treatment and recovery program that can help them create the possibility of a limitless future.