Route of administration is an important contributor to the adverse health consequences of prescription medication abuse. The current study examines characteristics associated with non-oral routes of administration among a large sample of prescription opioid abusers and explores needlerelated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behaviors as well. In the study, 791 opioid abusers completed a one-time structured interview, including complete histories of illicit and prescription drug abuse and route of drug administration. The most common method of pill use was oral (91%), followed by intranasal (53.1%), injection (23.8%), and smoking (14.5%). The youngest prescription opioid abusers, ages 18-24, displayed significantly higher odds of using alternate routes of administration and of reusing nonsterile needles for injection. HIV prevention programming should be developed for young prescription opioid injectors.
- Prescription opioid abuse
- Route of administration