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More than half of people who misuse prescription opioids also binge drink

More than half of the 4.2 million Americans who misused prescription opioids between 2012 and 2014 also engaged in binge drinking, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

CDC’s analysis shows that people who binge drank were nearly twice as likely to misuse prescription opioids as non-drinkers, even after taking into account other factors that could affect the relationship between prescription opioid misuse and binge drinking, like age and sex.

Prescription opioid misuse among people who binge drank varied by age and social factors:

  • While young people who binge drank had higher rates of prescription opioid misuse, 2 in 3 people who binge drank and misused prescription opioids were age 26 years and older.
  • Prescription opioid misuse was more common among people who binge drank with lower education and income levels.
  • Prescription opioid misuse increased with the frequency of binge drinking.

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