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Old 04-22-2011, 05:34 PM   #31
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It is correlated not causative.

There are factors, such as education, that correlate to the lack of drug use or to its continuous use.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Dfit00 View Post
It is correlated not causative.

There are factors, such as education, that correlate to the lack of drug use or to its continuous use.
I've seen very few studies that really touch upon the correlation, there was one a few years ago about cocaine that I thought was pretty good and it talked about how cocaine use dropped slightly among college graduates in the 90's(did the 80's PSAs finally work?). I haven't seen any on prescription drugs.

But here's some of the reasons why I question such studies. Higher education often means more income, and with higher income comes access to rehab, being able to hide drug use and abuse, avoidance of getting caught, etc. So I think these factors often can skew such studies.

Anecdotally I haven't seen much difference the part education plays except in drug of choice and the means of getting help. So maybe you're right when it comes to drug related deaths.

Also anecdotally I've seen prescription drug abuse actually higher in more educated individuals mainly due to access.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #33
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From USDHHS-SAMHSA, the government agency which tracks prescription drug abuse (these figures are from the first half of the 2000s; complete stats exist through 2009, but mostly in spreadsheet form, not an easy-to-read report like this):


SAMHSA - Demographic Differentials in Rates of Nonmedical Use
Quote:
Age. For any prescription-type psychotherapeutic drug, pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and methamphetamine, young adults aged 18 to 25 were more likely than youths aged 12 to 17 or adults aged 26 or older to report nonmedical use in the past year. Adults aged 26 or older generally had the lowest rates of nonmedical use. For any prescription drug, the annual average rates of past year use for 2002 through 2004 were 9.1% for youths, 14.5% for young adults, and 4.4% for adults aged 26 or older.
^ That does vary somewhat depending on drug type, for example, the age association with sedatives is considerably weaker.
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Gender. Although prevalence differences by gender were not as great as those by age, males were more likely than females to have misused any prescription psychotherapeutic drug (annual estimates of 6.5% vs. 5.9%, respectively), pain relievers (5.2% vs. 4.3%), stimulants (1.3% vs. 1.1%), and methamphetamine (0.7% vs. 0.5%) in the past year...However...[a]mong youths aged 12 to 17, females were somewhat more likely than males to have misused any prescription psychotherapeutic drug, pain relievers, tranquilizers, and stimulants in the past year.
^ Also, pregnant women are about a third less likely than nonpregnant women to abuse prescription drugs, unless they're 17 or younger, in which case they're more likely to abuse.
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Race/Ethnicity. [P]ast year nonmedical use of any prescription psychotherapeutic drug was more prevalent among non-Hispanic whites (6.7%) and Hispanics (6.3%) than among blacks (3.9%) or Asians (3.0%). The prevalence rates for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders (10.1%), American Indians or Alaska Natives (8.1%), and persons reporting two or more races (7.5%) also were higher than those for blacks or Asians.
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Education. For any prescription psychotherapeutic drug, pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and methamphetamine, the prevalence of past year nonmedical use among adults aged 18 or older was lowest among college graduates compared with adults who had completed less education. For example, 2.9% of college graduates misused prescription pain relievers in the past year compared with 5.3% of adults who did not complete high school, 4.5% of those who graduated from high school but did not attend college, and 5.3% of those with some college education.
^ It's interesting that abuse rates are higher among those who start but don't complete college than among those who complete high school but never attend college. That pattern is seen with numerous other education-linked phenomena. Young adults enrolled full-time in college do have lower abuse rates than their non-enrolled age counterparts.
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Employment. For any prescription-type psychotherapeutic drug and for each of the separate categories, the prevalence of past year nonmedical use was higher for adults aged 18 or older who were unemployed than for those employed full time, employed part time, or in the "other" category. The lowest rates of use were observed among persons in the "other" employment category, which included persons not in the labor force; these lower rates may reflect patterns among persons who are retired, disabled, or keeping house or caring for children full time. Part-time workers generally had higher rates of nonmedical use of prescription drugs than those employed full time. For example, 10.0% of unemployed persons misused pain relievers in the past year compared with 5.7% of persons employed part time, 4.6% of persons employed full time, and 2.8% of persons in the "other" employment category.
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Region. Although differences were not great, the prevalence of past year nonmedical use of any prescription-type psychotherapeutic drug among persons aged 12 or older was highest in the West (7.3%) compared with rates in the South (6.3%), Midwest (5.8%), and Northeast (5.2%). Across types of psychotherapeutic drugs, the rate of pain reliever misuse was highest in the West (5.5%) and lowest in the Northeast (4.0%). In contrast, misuse of tranquilizers was higher in the South (2.6%) than in the Northeast (1.8%), Midwest (1.8%), and West (1.9%). Similar to pain relievers, the prevalence of methamphetamine misuse was highest in the West (1.2%) and lowest in the Northeast (0.1%); misuse of any stimulant followed this same geographic pattern. The higher rates of methamphetamine and any stimulant misuse in the West are consistent with data from the Treatment Episode Data Set on trends in admissions to substance treatment for primary abuse of methamphetamine or amphetamines. The rate of sedative misuse did not differ significantly across geographic regions.
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County Type. Small metropolitan areas with populations of fewer than 250,000 had the highest rates of past year misuse of any prescription psychotherapeutic drug (7.1%), pain relievers (5.4%), tranquilizers (2.6%), and stimulants (1.7%) among persons aged 12 or older. Metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more had the lowest rates of stimulant (1.1%) and methamphetamine (0.5%) misuse. An estimated 1.3% of persons aged 12 or older in rural areas misused any stimulant in the past year, and 0.7% misused methamphetamine. Rural areas had the lowest rates of misuse for any prescription-type psychotherapeutic drug (4.8%), pain relievers (3.5%), and tranquilizers (1.7%).

Strangely though, they don't include income in their differentials.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:27 PM   #34
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Yolland did you find anywhere where it stated how they found individuals?

Were they people in treatment, people who were arrested in drug charges, people who volunteered that they were abusing prescription drugs?
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:43 PM   #35
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No, it's based on field interviews conducted with 203,670 people in 900 census blocks which were selected to represent national population distribution as accurately as possible. Sampling was random (but there was a deliberate oversampling of youths and young adults, since that's where the problem is most acute). Active-duty military, homeless people not living in shelters, and persons living in institutions (prisons, nursing homes etc.) were not included.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #36
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Thanks, I just glanced it over and couldn't find that...

I think that does skew the numbers though, it would be hard to ever really get an acurate survey like this. Many people, and I would think the educated even moreso would be embarassed to admitting such a problem.
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