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J Stud Alcohol. 2006 Jul;67(4):529-37.

Simultaneous and concurrent polydrug use of alcohol and prescription drugs: prevalence, correlates, and consequences.

Author information

  • 1Substance Abuse Research Center, The University of Michigan, 2025 Traverwood Drive, Suite C, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105-2194, USA. plius@umich.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In this study, we sought to examine the prevalence, correlates, and consequences associated with simultaneous polydrug use and concurrent polydrug use of alcohol and prescription drugs. For purposes of this investigation, simultaneous polydrug use referred to the co-ingestion of different drugs at the same time, and concurrent polydrug use referred to the use of different drugs on separate occasions within the past 12 months.

METHOD:

Undergraduate students attending a large public midwestern university in the United States were randomly selected to self-administer a Web survey. The sample consisted of 4,580 undergraduate students, with a mean (SD) age of 19.9 (2.0) years; the sample consisted of 50% women, and the racial breakdown was 65% white, 13% Asian, 7% black, 5% Hispanic, and 10% other race/ethnicity. The survey assessed simultaneous polydrug use and concurrent polydrug use of alcohol and four classes of prescription drugs: (1) pain medication, (2) stimulant medication, (3) sedative medication, and (4) sleeping medication.

RESULTS:

The 12-month prevalence for polydrug use involving alcohol and abusable prescription drugs was 12.1% (including 6.9% simultaneous polydrug use). The majority of polydrug use involving alcohol and each class of prescription drugs was simultaneous polydrug use, with the exception of sleeping medication. Simultaneous polydrug use was more prevalent among undergraduate students who were male, were white, and reported early initiation of alcohol use. Simultaneous polydrug use was associated with more alcohol-related and other drug use-related problems than concurrent polydrug use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Based on the high prevalence and increased risk for consequences associated with simultaneous polydrug use of alcohol and prescription drugs, collegiate prevention efforts aimed at reducing substance abuse should clearly focus on co-ingestion of alcohol and prescription drugs.

PMID:
16736072
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1761923
Free PMC Article

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