A study involving high school seniors suggests that attempts to address heroin use in the adolescent population should also take into account the likelihood of polysubstance use. The study found that seniors who use heroin commonly use an average of five other drugs as well.
Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the study also found consistent pattens in the relationship between frequency of heroin use and the use of other drugs. Concurrent use of other drugs was most common in high school seniors who reported 10 to 39 occasions of past-month use of heroin. Concurrent use of other drugs was less frequent, however, in individuals reporting using heroin 40 or more times in the past month.
“Considering users' overall drug use profiles appears to be important because the concurrent use of multiple drugs can exacerbate adverse health effects associated with heroin use such as overdose,” said lead study author Joseph Palamar, PhD, MPH, associate professor of population health at the New York University School of Medicine.
Benzodiazepines and other opioids were among the drugs most frequently used concurrently with heroin, the researchers reported.
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