Teen ER Visits Often Involve Alcohol, Other Drugs

Research SummaryResearchers from the University of Michigan Health System tested 443 patients ages 14-17 who entered the emergency room at the school’s hospital for treatment of severe injuries. They found that 29 percent tested positive for opiates, 11.2 percent tested positive for alcohol, and 20 percent tested positive for marijuana.


“The two major preventable health issues facing adolescents are injuries that result in death or disability, and lifestyle choices that have long-term, adverse health consequences,” said lead researcher Peter Ehrlich. “To help alter this risk-taking behavior, it is essential that drug testing and brief substance-abuse intervention programs be included in the treatment of all injured adolescents.”

Ehrlich called for comprehensive drug screening in emergency rooms.

The research was published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.


Ehrlich PF, Brown JK, Drongowski R. (2006) Characterization of the drug-positive adolescent trauma population: should we, do we, and does it make a difference if we test? Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 41(5): 927-930.

Source: , Reuters reported May 17 2006
Filed under: Drugs and Accidents,Youth :

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