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Friday, November 28, 2014

Teenage TBI Reported Drug Use

English: A CT of the head years after a trauma...
Students in Canada, between grades 9 and 12, who had experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI), reported drug use rates two to four times higher than peers with no history of TBI, reports Science Daily.

"Overall, a teen with a history of TBI is at least twice as likely as a classmate who hasn't suffered a brain injury to drink alcohol, use cannabis or abuse other drugs," said Dr. Michael Cusimano, co-principal investigator of the study and a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's Hospital. "But when you look at specific drugs, those rates are often higher."

A TBI was defined by researchers as any hit or blow to the head that resulted in the teenager being knocked out for at least five minutes or being hospitalized for at least one night due to symptoms associated with the head injury.

The research showed that, in the past 12 months, teens with a history of TBI said they were:
  • 3.8 times more likely to have used crystal meth.
  • 3.8 times more likely to have used non-prescribed tranquilizers or sedatives.
  • 2.8 times more likely to have used Ecstasy.
  • 2.7 times more likely to have used non-prescribed opioid pain relievers.
  • 2.6 times more likely to have used hallucinogens.
  • 2.5 times more likely to have used cocaine.
  • 2.5 times more likely to have used LSD.
  • 2.1 times more likely to have used non-prescribed ADHD drugs.
"On top of the other health consequences, substance abuse increases the odds of suffering an injury that could result in a TBI," said Dr. Cusimano, who is also a researcher with the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science. "And using some of these substances may also impair recovery after injury."

The findings were published in The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

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