Researchers used Add Health data to examine the relations between childhood trauma and the use of prescription pain reliever misuse (PPRM) and injection drug use (IDU). After identifying nine specific types of trauma, results showed that childhood trauma occurred among 5.13% (experienced violence) to 16.37% (experienced emotional abuse) of respondents. 20% of respondents had misused pain relievers between Waves I and III; by Wave IV, this number increased to 30%. At Wave III, 1.24% of respondents had used injection drugs.
Analyses showed a dose-response relationship: respondents who experienced a higher number of traumas had a higher risk of PPRM. For example, in emerging adulthood, the increase in the odds of PPRM was 34%, 50%, 70%, 217%, and 179% for one, two, three, four, and five or more traumas, respectively. Furthermore, this link between trauma and drug use became stronger into adulthood. Authors suggest that a history of childhood trauma has a negative effect on well-being and influences psychological and physiological functioning. Given the current public health problem in the US related to use of these drugs, a focus on trauma-informed interventions and early trauma screening are needed.
- Kelly Quinn: Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine
- Lauren Boone: Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
- Joy D. Scheidell: Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine
- Pedro Mateu-Gelabert: National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.
- Susan P. McGorray: Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health & Health Professions, College of Medicine, University of Florida
- Nisha Beharie: National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.
- Linda B. Cottler: Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Health Professions, College of Medicine, University of Florida
- Maria R. Khan: Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine