*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Live Science.
Teens who take opioid painkillers without a prescription also often use marijuana, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed information from more than 11,000 children and teens ages 10 to 18, in 10 U.S. cities. Participants were asked whether they had used prescription opioids in the past 30 days, and whether they had ever used marijuana.
Overall, about 29 percent of the teens said they had used marijuana at some point in their lives. But among the 524 participants who said they had used prescription opioids in the past 30 days, nearly 80 percent had used marijuana.
The findings show that among young opioid users, the prevalence of marijuana use is high, said Vicki Osborne, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Florida. Osborne presented the study Oct. 31 at the meeting of the American Public Health Association in Denver.
Among teens who said they used opioids without a prescription (meaning they obtained the drugs through a friend, family member or other avenue), about 88 percent had used marijuana, compared with 61 percent of those who did have a prescription for the opioids they used.
The study also found that the teens who reported having used alcohol or tobacco in addition to opioids were much more likely to use marijuana as well. Of the participants who had used opioids, those who also reported recent alcohol use were nearly 10 times more likely to have used marijuana, compared with those who didn't use alcohol recently. And those who currently smoked tobacco were 24 times more likely to have used marijuana than those who were not tobacco users, the study found.
Source: Live Science