HealthDay News — Prescription opioid misuse is more common among binge drinkers, with the prevalence of opioid misuse increasing with binge drinking frequency, according to a study published online June 11 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Marissa B. Esser, PhD, MPH, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from 160,812 individuals who responded to questions about prescription opioid misuse and alcohol consumption in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Self-reported past 30-day prescription opioid misuse was assessed by sociodemographic characteristics, other substance use, and drinking patterns.

The researchers found that 1.6% of all individuals aged ≥12 years (estimated 4.2 million) and 3.5% of binge drinkers (estimated 2.2 million) reported prescription opioid misuse from 2012 to 2014. Compared with nondrinkers, prescription opioid misuse was more common among binge drinkers (adjusted odds ratio, 1.7). There was a significant increase in the prevalence of prescription opioid misuse with binge drinking frequency.

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“The high prevalence, frequency, and intensity of binge drinking among adults and adolescents in the United States, along with the heightened prevalence of prescription opioid misuse among binge drinkers, emphasizes the importance of adopting a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing both binge drinking and prescription opioid misuse to reduce the risk of opioid overdoses,” the authors write.

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