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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2012 Jul;38(4):314-21. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2011.643992. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Psychiatric medication-seeking beliefs and behaviors among college students.

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1
McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0183, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Misuse of prescription psychiatric medications is increasing on college campuses. Sources of medications include friends or family, obtaining prescriptions fraudulently or from multiple physicians, and buying drugs online.

OBJECTIVE:

This study assessed psychosocial correlates of medication-seeking behaviors in college students to identify characteristics of potential prescription drug misusers.

METHODS:

The sample included 383 participants (59.2% female) recruited from various campus locations and online classes of a Division I university in the southeastern region of the United States, with an enrollment of approximately 50,000 students. Participants anonymously completed self-report questionnaires.

RESULTS:

Misusers of prescription psychiatric medication were more likely to have health insurance and to know someone else who had misused that medication. They were more likely to endorse positive attitudes regarding medication-seeking. There was a significant correlation between positive medication-seeking beliefs and reported medication-seeking behaviors. The most common and most accepted form of medication-seeking was asking for the medication from a peer.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results suggest the need for further education regarding the dangers of psychiatric medication-seeking, particularly related to seeking medication from peers.

SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE:

This study is the first to assess psychosocial characteristics of college students who seek prescription psychiatric medications for misuse. The information obtained may be used for risk assessment and preventive efforts.

PMID:
22681334
DOI:
10.3109/00952990.2011.643992
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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