Opioid use at the transition to emerging adulthood: A latent class analysis of non-medical use of prescription opioids and heroin use

Allen W. Barton, Crystal A. Reinhart, Corey C. Campbell, Doug C. Smith, Dolores Albarracin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Although rates of nonmedical opioid use are highest in late adolescence and emerging adulthood, efforts to understand the extent of the heterogeneity in opioid misuse during this time have been limited. The current study aimed to derive and define typologies of opioid use in high school students at the onset of emerging adulthood. Methods: Survey responses from a statewide sample of high school students aged 18 and 19 (N = 26,223) were analyzed. Group-based comparisons between participants reporting opioid use and those not reporting opioid use were conducted. Among those reporting opioid use (n = 1,636), we conducted a latent class analysis (LCA) to identify heterogeneous subgroups of opioid users on the basis of non-medical use of prescription opioids (NMUPO) and heroin use. The resulting classes were then compared across various risk and protective factors using multinominal logistic regression. Results: Consistent differences were observed between participants using opioids and participants not using opioids, with moderate to large effect sizes. Results from LCA revealed three subclasses: NMUPO-Any Use, NMUPO To Get High, and Heroin Use. Subclass differences were observed for non-opioid substance use, mental health, and demographics. Conclusions: Findings from this study underscore the variability of youth who engage in opioid use in late adolescence. Results also indicate that opioid use during adolescence is likely indicative of a broader set of substance use and mental health issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106757
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume114
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Emerging adult
  • Heroin
  • Latent class analysis
  • Opioids
  • Prescription misuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Opioid use at the transition to emerging adulthood: A latent class analysis of non-medical use of prescription opioids and heroin use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this