Background: This study examines whether there is variation in selected risk behavior engagement (multiple sexual partners, binge drinking, vandalism, self-harm and suicide ideation) among groups of high school students who report misusing prescription drugs. Methods: Data were taken from the Minnesota Student Survey. Participants (n=64997) were categorized into four groups: non-drug users; prescription-only users; prescription and marijuana (cannabis) users; and prescription and other illicit drug users. Risk behavior engagement was compared across groups using general linear modeling. Results: Significant variation in externalizing risk behaviors (number of sexual partners, binge drinking, vandalism) was found, with greater variation among females. Variation was also found for internalizing risk behaviors (self-harm and suicide ideation), though the differences between drug use groups were less drastic. Conclusions: Distinct subgroups exist among adolescents who misuse prescription drugs. Researchers should consider these differences when assessing analytic strategies; those who work directly with adolescents who misuse prescriptions should consider these differences when designing interventions.
- Controlled substance
- Risk behaviors