Lifetime prevalence estimates of psychotropic medicine use as well as prevalence of DSM-IV prescription drug use disorders from the baseline investigation of the Early Developmental Stages of Psychopathology (EDSP) Study are presented. Use of prescription medication at some time in their life was reported by 27.4% of the respondents. Illicit use of prescription drugs, which means an intake without medical legitimation, was reported by 4.5% of the sample. The findings suggest that abuse of and dependence on prescription drugs, with most cases reporting polysubstance use, is quite rare in the 14- to 24-year-olds. DSM-IV abuse was more prevalent than dependence (0.5 vs. 0.3%). In general, women reported higher prevalence rates of prescription drug use, whereas men reported higher prevalence rates of prescription drug disorders. This result suggests that men have a higher risk to develop a substance-use-related disorder.

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