The age of 16 seems to be the age when teens are most likely to start experimenting with prescription pain medications. Close to 140,000 teens and young adults, aged 12 to 21 years participated in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Results showed that one in 60 youth tried extramedical use of prescription pain relievers between the ages 12 and 21. The peak risk of extramedical use was however, at about 16 years of age… approximately one in 30 to 40 youths (2%-3%). Extramedical use is considered usage of prescription pain relievers outside the boundaries of what a physician might intend, or for other unapproved usages.  It was previously thought that teens were most likely to start experimenting with prescription pain medications later than 16 years of age.  The researchers concluded   that public health efforts, including drug-prevention programs should begin earlier in childhood/adolescence than previously thought…… Practical Pain Management   June 2012

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