Nonmedical Rx Drug Use and Dating Violence: What's the Link?

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Nonmedical use of prescription drugs linked to dating violence for male, female high school students
Nonmedical use of prescription drugs linked to dating violence for male, female high school students

(HealthDay News) — For male and female high school students, nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) is associated with experiences of dating violence victimization (DVV), according to a study published online Nov. 20 in Pediatrics.

Heather B. Clayton, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey for students in grades 9 to 12 to examine the correlation between lifetime NMUPD and DVV. Data were included for 5,136 boys and 5,307 girls who dated during the 12 months before the survey. 

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The researchers found that compared with female students, male students had a significantly lower prevalence of DVV. After adjustment for covariates, sexual DVV only and both physical and sexual DVV were positively correlated with NMUPD among boys (adjusted prevalence ratios, 1.61 and 1.65, respectively). For girls, positive correlations with NMUPD were seen for physical DVV only and both physical and sexual DVV (adjusted prevalence ratios, 1.42 and 1.43, respectively).

"Community- or school-based adolescent violence and substance use prevention efforts would be enhanced by considering the association between DVV and substance use, particularly NMUPD among both male and female adolescents, to address these public health problems," the authors write.

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