260110 How does age of initiation of drugs vary in a national sample of adolescents in relation to use of prescription stimulants

Monday, October 29, 2012

Catherine Striley, PhD, MSW, MPE , Department of Epidemiology/Colleges of Public Health and Health Professions and Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Susan Bradford, BSEd , Department of Epidemiology/College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Linda Cottler, PhD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology/Colleges of Public Health and Health Professions and Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Background: Lifetime (LT) nonmedical use (NMU) (not prescribed or used for the experience or feeling caused) of prescription stimulants (RxStim) has declined since 2002 but remains a problem. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that tobacco (T), alcohol (A) and marijuana (M) initiation generally precedes NMU-RxStim; initial age at first medical use of RxStim (MU-RxStim) was not collected. Aim: Data from the National Monitoring of Adolescent Prescription Stimulant Study (N-MAPSS; CottlerLB, PI), collected between October 2008 and February 2011 were used to test the hypothesis that NMU-RxStim users would self-report the youngest first use of T/A/M. Methods: Youth ages 10-18 in 10 US cities and contiguous suburban and rural areas completed an anonymous brief survey on drug use and risk factors. Results: In the sample of 8,219, 52% endorsed LT use of T/A/M [20% one; 15% two, and 17% all three], while 4% (N=349) endorsed LTMU-RxStim and 6% (N=498) endorsed LTNMU-RxStim. LT-RxStim use increased with the number of T/A/M used from 8% among non-users to 41% among those who used all three. RxStim age of initiation differed among NMU-RxStim by T/A/M use: from 12.2 years no T/A/M use to 14.3 years for all three T/A/M, significantly later than for those with MU-RxStim. Conclusions: Youth who had used T/A/M were more likely to report MU-RxStim or NMU-RxStim, which could reflect a shared liability. T/A/M use may reflect an attempt to self-treat attentional problems, delaying initiation of RxStims. Patterns and trajectories of drug use in adolescents should include RxStims.

Learning Areas:

Learning Objectives:
1. Compare the ages of initiation of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and non-medically and/or medically used prescription stimulants in a national cohort of 10 to 18 year olds. 2. Evaluate the significance of the ages of initiation for prevention and treatment.

Keywords: Adolescents, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Co-Investigator on NIH-funded studies (LB Cottler, PI) focussing on out-of-treatment drug users and women in the criminal justice system. Currently, I am the Co-Investigator for the NIDA-funded "Transformative Approach to Reduce Research Disparities Towards Drug Users" and oversee the implementation of an Ambassador-model. I am also researcher for the National Immigrant Family Violence Institute, a group of agencies implementing a case-finding intervention among immigrants and refugees from Boston to San Francisco.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.