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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This publication was supported in part by University of Minnesota Prevention Research Centers Cooperative Agreement Number U48 DP001939 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Controlled substance
- Risk behaviors