Increased Risk of Suicide Attempts in Teens Linked to Abuse of Prescription Drugs

A new study finds an increased risk of suicide attempts in teens is associated with prescription drug abuse, Reuters reports. Teens who said they used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at the start of the study were almost three times as likely to report a suicide attempt a year later.

The study of 3,300 Chinese teens is published in JAMA Pediatrics. The researchers found teens’ suicide risk was more than tripled if they abused opiates.

Overall, fewer than 3 percent of teens in the study reported misusing any prescription drugs, including 1.8 percent who said they misused opiates or stimulants, and 1 percent who said they abused sedatives.