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P24. Identifying Motives and Sources of Diversion in the Adolescent Population

About The Event

  • Cost: Free
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Learner category:

  • Novice Level

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will be able to discuss two routes adolescents obtain opioids.
  • Participants will be able to discuss two interventions aimed at reducing opioid use in adolescents.


Drug overdose deaths in the United States increased from 52,404 to 63,634 to 70,237, respectively from 2015 to 2017. In 2017, 47,600 of the 70,237 drug overdose deaths were related to opioids. Prescription opioids accounted for 17,029 of the opioid related deaths (Garcia et al., 2019). Adolescents aged 13 to 19 had the second highest number of opioid exposures. According to Brady et al (2016) diversion refers to the transfer of a substance and includes both selling and giving to family members or friends. Reported sources included prescriptions received from a doctor, diversion from friends or family members, or purchasing through various sources. Adolescents most commonly reported receiving the prescription for free from a friend or relative, use of their own prescription, purchase from a dealer, or took them from friends of family members without asking (McHugh et al., 2015). McHugh et al. (2015) found that motives to abuse prescription drugs are related to getting high, regulating pain, negative affect, and improvement of sleep. Palamar et al. (2016) found “experimentation” as the most common reported use of opioids in high school seniors. This emphasizes the need for physicians to “right-size” prescriptions to minimize the number of pills left over after a patient completes medication (Abbasi, 2017). In addition, patients should be educated on proper medication disposal to eliminate diversion in the adolescent population. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature to identify motives for opioid use and key sources of diversion in the adolescent population.


Katilya Ware
PhD, RN Auburn University School of Nursing

Dr. Katilya Ware is an Assistant Professor at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. She graduated with her PhD in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Technology from the University of Alabama in 2016. She has 15 years of experience in nursing. She began her career in healthcare in the emergency department setting as a multi-care technician and then transitioned into the role of a Registered Nurse after completing her education. She is a member of the Rural Nurse Organization, American Nurses Association, the Alabama State Nurses Association, Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society, Sigma Honor Society of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing. Her research interests include the impact of social determinants on nurse advanced degree attainment, the nursing workforce, and the relationship between social determinants, health care providers, and health disparities.

Lynn Brown
DNP, RN-BC, CNE, Auburn University

Dr. Lynn Brown is an associate clinical professor at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. She graduated with her DNP in administration with an additional educator concentration from Samford University in 2015. She has over 30 years of nursing experience. Most recently she worked at UAB Hospital from 2004 to 2015 on various surgical units, and as the Clinical Care Coordinator for Vascular Surgery. Additionally, Dr. Brown has worked at Humana Hospital in Huntsville, AL, the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, TN, and Crawford Long Hospital of Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She is ANCC Board Certified in Medical-Surgical Nursing and a Certified Nurse Educator. She is a member of the American Nursing Association, the Alabama State Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. Her research interests include nurse retention, student success, and the opioid addiction.

Our Speakers

Katilya Ware
Lynn Brown
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