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BACKGROUND: Little information is available on the associations between nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) and dating violence victimization (DVV) among high school students and how associations vary by sex.
METHODS: We used data from the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of students in grades 9 to 12.
Researchers of another study who used data collected from ED patients in Michigan and focused on youth aged 14 to 24 years who screened positive for substance use, reported that prescription sedative and opioid misuse were more likely to be reported before DV than alcohol use or alcohol and marijuana use.
It should be noted that DV as assessed in both of these studies combined DV aggression and victimization into a single DV measure, and there was no exploration of different types of DV (eg, sexual or physical).
In our analyses, we examined a 4-level DVV measure: no DVV, physical only, sexual only, and both physical and sexual.
The authors of studies that focused on adult populations suggest that IPV is associated with NMUPD, but evidence among adolescent populations is both scarce and conflicting.Because much of the published literature on NMUPD and DV among adolescents derives from a small geographic setting and cites mainly ED data, there is a need to explore the role of NMUPD in DVV among a broader population of adolescents, that is a study in which researchers provide national estimates for an adolescent population.As such, with this study we address the gap in literature by analyzing data from a nationally representative sample of US high school students to investigate the association between NMUPD and physical and sexual DVV.Community- or school-based adolescent violence and substance use prevention efforts would be enhanced by considering the association between DVV and substance use, particularly NMUPD among both male and female adolescents, to address these public health problems.Information on the association between NMUPD and types of dating violence victimization among adolescents is limited.