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Opioid use in young adults

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Opioid use in the United States of America has risen to epidemic levels. How have young adults become involved in this catastrophe? Young adults do not usually experience age-related pain problems that warrant opioid prescriptions, but death from opioid overdoses in this age group has significantly increased. Shanahan L et al [JAMA Pediatr doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5205] have used data from the Great Smoky Mountains Study (GSMS). This is a longitudinal representative study of children in 11 predominantly rural counties of North Carolina. They recruited from three cohorts, aged 9, 11, and 13 years from a pool of 12 000 children using a 2-stage sampling design resulting in 1420 …

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