Opioid use continues to rise among adolescents and young adults in the US, says a study.

The consumption rate is so high that one in eight deaths among young adults and adolescents is linked to this medication, the study indicated.

An editorial published by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration alongside the new study indicated that around 400,000 young  adults between the age group of 18 and 25 struggled with opioid disorder in 2015.

A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics also highlighted the impact of opioid consumption on teenagers and young adults. According to the study, doctors and dentists are frequently prescribing this medications for certain emergency and outpatient conditions, according to a study.

For the research work, academics analyzed the data of two national surveys that focussed on the adolescents and young adults’ visits to outpatient clinics and emergency rooms between the years 2005 and 2015.

The surveys were conducted by a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called National Center for Health Statistics. For the survey, they focussed on the adolescents and young adults between the age group of 13 and 22.

During the study period of 11 years, over 78,000 youngsters visited outpatient clinics and emergency room. Among the 47,159 patients visited emergency rooms in this period, 15 percent of the visitors received opioid prescription. Similarly, three percentages of outpatient clinic visitors from 31,271 patients were also given the same medication.

The opioid prescriptions in outpatient clinics did not change significantly between the years 2005 to 2015. But the rate decreased in emergency rooms by around four percent during this period, according to the study titled “Trends in Opioid Prescribing for Adolescents and Young Adults in Ambulatory Care Settings”.

Lead author of the study Dr Joel Hudgins, who is a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, said opioid prescription rates seems to have slowly declined in the emergency rooms in the recent past.

However, the academics revealed that adolescents and young adults are especially at high risk of opioid misuse. According to him, medical practitioners are prompted to prescribe opioid to youngsters in some conditions, such as dental disorders, low back pain, ankle and collarbone fractures and neck sprains.

“There are national guidelines on opioid prescribing for adults, and that really helps prescribers know how long, what the right duration is, and what the right opioid is, and things like that There really aren't those guidelines, or at least not at the national level, for adolescents and young adults,” Hudgins said.