Youth Opioid Study: Attitudes and Usage

Hazelden Betty Ford and the Christie Foundation - April 2015
Group of young boys and girls sitting together and having fun

Youth and Young Adults Say That Opioids are Easy to Get and Share

A third of respondents (32.7%) say that prescription opioids are easy to acquire, with half (49.5%) saying they could do so within 24 hours. The easiest source: parent's or friend's medicine cabinets. One-third of respondents (31.7%) said the cost of buying them is reasonable and although 84.9% say they know it is illegal to share prescription opioids, 23.6% say this knowledge wouldn't stop them from sharing.

Nearly One-Third of Respondents Say They Know of Someone Who Has Overdosed

Almost one-third (30.8%) of respondents say they know of someone who has overdosed on prescribed pain medication or heroin. Yet 37.2% said they would have no idea of where to go for help if they, or someone they know, experienced an overdose.

Misuse of Pain Medication is Attributed to a Need to Reduce Anxiety or Stress, or to Aid in Sleeping, More Than Simply to "Get High."

Respondents who have used prescribed pain pills in excess or have used prescription pain pill that were not prescribed to them said it was primarily to relieve anxiety or stress (61.2%), to help with sleep (52.8%) and, thirdly, to get high (34.8%).

Download the full study.