Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs Associated with Teen Dating Violence

A new study reports an association between high school students’ use of prescription drugs for non-medical reasons and dating violence victimization.

Officials with the study note some differences were also observed between males and females.

The study, “Physical and Sexual Dating Violence and Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs” analyzed data provided by the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

The sample included 5,136 males and 5,307 females in grades 9-12 who dated during the prior 12 months before the survey.

In 2015, 9.6 percent of students reported that they had experienced physical dating violence, while 10.6 percent experienced sexual dating violence.

Among males, non-medical use of prescription drugs was associated with sexual dating violence victimization. For female students, the non-medical use of prescription drugs was reported more often with the physical form of dating violence victimization.

The authors note that the mechanisms behind the associations are likely complex. They recommend that prevention programs aimed at dating violence include messages on substance use, particularly the non-medical use of prescription drugs.

Michaela Madison Reporting 

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