Children who witness violence or are sexually abused are more likely to inject drugs as adults

Date: Nov 02 2016

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Denver — Children who are sexually abused are nearly five times more likely to inject drugs in adulthood as those who are not — while children who witness violence are about three  times more likely — according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver.

Researchers from NYU School of Medicine and The Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research used a nationally representative sample of more than 12,000 Americans to explore associations between nine childhood traumas and adult drug use. Additionally: the association between sexual abuse during childhood and injection drug use was more than seven times as strong for males as females.

“Screening for and addressing childhood trauma may be an important strategy to prevent initiation of drug use,” said lead researcher Kelly Quinn, PhD, MPH, assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health. “And for drug users, trauma-informed interventions throughout the life course are important for treatment and mitigation of relapse.”

Additionally, data found that neglect, emotional abuse, parental incarceration and parental binge drinking were associated with 25-55 percent increased odds of prescription pain reliever misuse.

APHA 2016  is themed “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health” and will focus on moving toward health equity, which means we must value all people equally, promote prevention and zero in on the social determinants of health.

5092.2: Associations between Childhood Traumatic Events and Adulthood Prescription Pain Pill Misuse and Injection Drug Use in the United States
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016
Researchers: Kelly Quinn, PhD, MPH, NYU School of Medicine; Lauren Boone, University of Michigan; Joy Scheidell, PhD, NYU School of Medicine; Susan McGorray, MS, PhD, University of Florida; Nisha Beharie, DrPH, National Development and Research Institutes Inc.; Linda Cottler, PhD, University of Florida; Maria Khan, PhD, MPH, NYU School of Medicine
Information for media: The APHA Press Office will be located in room 604 of the Colorado Convention Center.

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