Millennials May be Less Likely to Use Opioids Than Older Adults, Survey Found

Sep 1, 2017

Millennials may be less likely to use opioids to manage chronic pain than older generations, a new nationwide survey has found.

One in five millennials who used opioids to manage pain say they regretted it.

Instead, millennials report preferring lifestyle changes to improve pain management such as exercising, eating right, quitting smoking and losing weight.

However, those who do report using opioids are more likely to obtain them inappropriately. 10 percent of millennials obtained opioids through another household member’s prescription compared to 3 percent of Generation Xer and one percent of baby boomers.

They are also more likely to think it’s ok to take an opioid without a prescription and less likely to dispose of leftover opioids safely.

Researchers say the trend toward opting toward non-addictive pain management techniques is encouraging, but more education is still needed about the dangers and proper uses of opioids.

The survey was commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.