Nonmedical Use of Prescription Opioids and Heroin Use Among Adolescents Involved in Competitive Sports



      Examine the past-year prevalence of nonmedical use of prescription opioids (NUPOs), heroin use, and the concurrent NUPO and heroin in a sample of 12th graders involved in 16 different sports.


      A secondary analysis of nationally representative data from nine cohorts (2006–2014) of the Monitoring the Future study (n = 21,557).


      No differences were found between 12th graders who participated in at least one competitive sport and nonparticipants with respect to past-year NUPO, heroin use, and concurrent NUPO and heroin use. Most of the 16 sports analyzed were not associated with the three drug use outcomes. However, 12th graders who participated in ice hockey had substantially greater odds of both past-year heroin use and concurrent NUPO and heroin, while those who participated in weightlifting (NUPO and heroin) and wrestling (NUPO) had slightly higher odds of using these drugs.


      The study provides critical information to inform physicians, parents, and school officials of the risks associated with participating in certain high contact sports, particularly ice hockey.


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