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Not just heroin: Extensive polysubstance use among US high school seniors who currently use heroin.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 07 01; 188:377-384.DA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Heroin-related deaths are on the rise in the US and a large portion of heroin overdoses involve co-use of other drugs such as benzodiazepines. A better understanding of heroin polysubstance use patterns could help discern better prevention measures.

METHODS

Data were examined from past-month ("current") heroin users from a nationally representative sample of high school seniors in the Monitoring the Future study (2010-2016, n = 327). We examined how past-month use and frequency of use of various drugs relate to frequency of current heroin use using chi-square and multivariable ordinal logistic regression.

RESULTS

Prevalence of any past-month use of various other drugs (and past-month use 10+ times) tends to increase as the frequency of heroin use increases; however, other drug use tends to decline among those reporting the use of heroin 40+ times in the past month. In multivariable models controlling for demographic characteristics, most levels of alcohol use were associated with decreased odds of higher-frequency heroin use (ps<.05). Nonmedical opioid (aOR = 5.84, p = .037) and tranquilizer (aOR = 14.63, p = .045) use 40+ times in the past month were associated with increased odds of higher-frequency heroin use.

CONCLUSIONS

High school seniors who use heroin also use multiple other drugs. Increases in the frequency of heroin use are associated with shifts in the nature and frequency of polysubstance use, with a higher frequency of heroin use associated with the highest percentage and frequency of use of depressants (nonmedical opioid and benzodiazepine use), compounding the risk of overdose. Prevention measures should consider polysubstance use patterns among heroin-using adolescents.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Medical Center, 227 E. 30th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY, 10016, USA; Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, 433 First Avenue, New York, NY, 10010, USA. Electronic address: joseph.palamar@nyumc.org.Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Medical Center, 227 E. 30th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY, 10016, USA; New York University College of Dentistry, 345 E. 24th Street, New York, NY, 10010, USA.Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, 433 First Avenue, New York, NY, 10010, USA; National Development and Research Institutes, 71 West 23rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY, 10010, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29880271

Citation

Palamar, Joseph J., et al. "Not Just Heroin: Extensive Polysubstance Use Among US High School Seniors Who Currently Use Heroin." Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 188, 2018, pp. 377-384.
Palamar JJ, Le A, Mateu-Gelabert P. Not just heroin: Extensive polysubstance use among US high school seniors who currently use heroin. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018;188:377-384.
Palamar, J. J., Le, A., & Mateu-Gelabert, P. (2018). Not just heroin: Extensive polysubstance use among US high school seniors who currently use heroin. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 188, 377-384. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.05.001
Palamar JJ, Le A, Mateu-Gelabert P. Not Just Heroin: Extensive Polysubstance Use Among US High School Seniors Who Currently Use Heroin. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 07 1;188:377-384. PubMed PMID: 29880271.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Not just heroin: Extensive polysubstance use among US high school seniors who currently use heroin. AU - Palamar,Joseph J, AU - Le,Austin, AU - Mateu-Gelabert,Pedro, Y1 - 2018/06/04/ PY - 2018/04/16/received PY - 2018/05/10/revised PY - 2018/05/11/accepted PY - 2018/6/9/pubmed PY - 2018/9/27/medline PY - 2018/6/9/entrez KW - Adolescents KW - Benzodiazepines KW - Heroin KW - Polysubstance use SP - 377 EP - 384 JF - Drug and alcohol dependence JO - Drug Alcohol Depend VL - 188 N2 - BACKGROUND: Heroin-related deaths are on the rise in the US and a large portion of heroin overdoses involve co-use of other drugs such as benzodiazepines. A better understanding of heroin polysubstance use patterns could help discern better prevention measures. METHODS: Data were examined from past-month ("current") heroin users from a nationally representative sample of high school seniors in the Monitoring the Future study (2010-2016, n = 327). We examined how past-month use and frequency of use of various drugs relate to frequency of current heroin use using chi-square and multivariable ordinal logistic regression. RESULTS: Prevalence of any past-month use of various other drugs (and past-month use 10+ times) tends to increase as the frequency of heroin use increases; however, other drug use tends to decline among those reporting the use of heroin 40+ times in the past month. In multivariable models controlling for demographic characteristics, most levels of alcohol use were associated with decreased odds of higher-frequency heroin use (ps<.05). Nonmedical opioid (aOR = 5.84, p = .037) and tranquilizer (aOR = 14.63, p = .045) use 40+ times in the past month were associated with increased odds of higher-frequency heroin use. CONCLUSIONS: High school seniors who use heroin also use multiple other drugs. Increases in the frequency of heroin use are associated with shifts in the nature and frequency of polysubstance use, with a higher frequency of heroin use associated with the highest percentage and frequency of use of depressants (nonmedical opioid and benzodiazepine use), compounding the risk of overdose. Prevention measures should consider polysubstance use patterns among heroin-using adolescents. SN - 1879-0046 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29880271/Not_just_heroin:_Extensive_polysubstance_use_among_US_high_school_seniors_who_currently_use_heroin_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0376-8716(18)30287-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -