Statement of purpose To use longitudinal data collected from youth presenting to an urban emergency department to determine predictors of within-person changes in alcohol and prescription opioid same day use frequency.
Methods/Approach Research assistants recruited youth age 14–24 reporting past-six-month substance use into the Flint Youth Injury study from 11/2009–9/2011 (n=599; 349 violently-injured at baseline). Participants self-administered validated measures of alcohol use severity, cannabis use severity, mental health symptoms, social support/influences, and violent injury at baseline and four biannual follow-ups. In addition, participants completed Time Line Follow Back calendars (baseline: 30-days; follow-ups: 90-days) which allowed ascertainment of same day use of alcohol and prescription opioids. We calculated the prevalence of same day alcohol and prescription opioid at each follow-up, and used negative binomial regression with person-level fixed effects to isolate within-person predictor effects on same-day use frequency.
Results Between 2.0% (baseline) and 5.7% (18-month follow-up) of youth reported same-day use of alcohol and prescription opioids across follow-ups, with 19.9% reporting same-day use in at least one follow-up. Within-person increases in alcohol use severity, cannabis use severity, and depression and anxiety symptoms all corresponded to increases in same day alcohol and prescription opioid use frequency. Increased exposure to positive peer influences, and decreased exposure to delinquent peers, both coincided with lower same day alcohol and prescription opioid use frequency.
Conclusions Same day use of alcohol and prescription opioids is common in this population, and within-person changes are predictable. Interrupting worsening trajectories of substance use severity and mental health symptoms, and enhancing social support and reducing delinquent peer exposures, may reduce same day use frequency.
Significance Co-use of alcohol and prescription opioids dramatically increases acute risks (e.g., overdose) associated with each; understanding within-person predictors of same day use may point to catalysts for behavior change.
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