Study Finds One in Ten Adolescents Fills Opioids Annually

 Friday, October 16, 2020

A recent study published in Health Affairs found that 10.8 percent of adolescents on Medicaid in North Carolina filled at least one opioid prescription each year between 2016 and 2018. Adolescents aged 15-17 experienced the most opioid fills, opioid-related adverse events (such as overdoses), and opioid-related harms (such as opioid dependency and addiction). White, rural adolescents received the most opioid prescriptions, and the most common opioid-related adverse events occurred in girls and white children, while opioid-related harms were most frequently found in boys, black, and urban dwelling children. 

The most common opioid prescription fill types were hydrocodone (44.9 percent), oxycodone (28.7 percent), and codeine (20.0 percent), with dentists, advanced practice providers, and surgeons as the most common prescribers.