The Use of Study Drugs Among College Students in the United States: A Scoping Review

Location

D.P. Culp Center Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2024 9:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2024 11:30 AM

Poster Number

16

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Mildred Maisonet

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Competition Type

Competitive

Type

Poster Presentation

Presentation Category

Health

Abstract or Artist's Statement

Study drugs, often referred to as prescription stimulants, are drugs frequently misused on college campuses for purposes such as enhancing concentration, aiding study efforts, partying, weight loss, or alleviating negative mental health symptoms. Using these medications without a prescription for non-medical reasons poses significant risks and can have potentially fatal consequences. A primary source of stress among many college students is tests and exams, which makes many of them turn to the use of stimulants. Study shows that nearly 10 percent of college students reported taking the drug without a doctor’s prescription. From the definition of study drugs, it is clear that the use of study drugs among college students in the United States is a public health that needs prevention. However, there are limited records about the interventions targeting this issue. To explore the current factors surrounding this issue, we used a scoping review method. This scoping review attempts to address the current gap in knowledge about the use of study drugs among college students. The research question and a sub-question developed to achieve this are; What is the extent of the use of study drugs among college students? What are the interventions implemented to improve the use of study drugs among college students in the United States? An extensive scoping review was done using the Pubmed database for relevant articles, and the references of these articles were also searched. The search included studies that were published recently on the use of study drugs among college students in the United States from January 1st, 2021, till November 2023. The search term used was- (stimulant* OR "Central Nervous System Stimulants"[Mesh]) AND ("drug misuse" OR "non-medical use" OR "Prescription Drug Misuse"[Mesh] OR "non-prescription") AND (student* OR "Students"[MeSH] OR university* OR college OR "Universities"[MeSH] OR academic*) AND (2018:2023[pdat]) AND (2018:2023[pdat]) and reference management software used was Mendeley. Only one reviewer was involved, and ten articles were found relevant to the study out of 206 articles generated from the initial search. Using a data extraction plan, the critical findings were charted. The data analysis of other essential components of the study includes computing the results in various visual mappings such as tables and maps. From the analysis, the prevalence of study drug use among college students varied between 4.2% -77%, with an age range of 18-30 and a higher rate of use among males. The influencing factors focused on academic achievement stress. However, only four articles discussed the interventions to prevent the use of study drugs. None talked about policies that can help avoid the issue, whether existing or new ones. The use of study drugs is a recognized public health crisis across college campuses in the United States, and more effective interventions need to be developed to reduce this impact.

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Apr 5th, 9:00 AM Apr 5th, 11:30 AM

The Use of Study Drugs Among College Students in the United States: A Scoping Review

D.P. Culp Center Ballroom

Study drugs, often referred to as prescription stimulants, are drugs frequently misused on college campuses for purposes such as enhancing concentration, aiding study efforts, partying, weight loss, or alleviating negative mental health symptoms. Using these medications without a prescription for non-medical reasons poses significant risks and can have potentially fatal consequences. A primary source of stress among many college students is tests and exams, which makes many of them turn to the use of stimulants. Study shows that nearly 10 percent of college students reported taking the drug without a doctor’s prescription. From the definition of study drugs, it is clear that the use of study drugs among college students in the United States is a public health that needs prevention. However, there are limited records about the interventions targeting this issue. To explore the current factors surrounding this issue, we used a scoping review method. This scoping review attempts to address the current gap in knowledge about the use of study drugs among college students. The research question and a sub-question developed to achieve this are; What is the extent of the use of study drugs among college students? What are the interventions implemented to improve the use of study drugs among college students in the United States? An extensive scoping review was done using the Pubmed database for relevant articles, and the references of these articles were also searched. The search included studies that were published recently on the use of study drugs among college students in the United States from January 1st, 2021, till November 2023. The search term used was- (stimulant* OR "Central Nervous System Stimulants"[Mesh]) AND ("drug misuse" OR "non-medical use" OR "Prescription Drug Misuse"[Mesh] OR "non-prescription") AND (student* OR "Students"[MeSH] OR university* OR college OR "Universities"[MeSH] OR academic*) AND (2018:2023[pdat]) AND (2018:2023[pdat]) and reference management software used was Mendeley. Only one reviewer was involved, and ten articles were found relevant to the study out of 206 articles generated from the initial search. Using a data extraction plan, the critical findings were charted. The data analysis of other essential components of the study includes computing the results in various visual mappings such as tables and maps. From the analysis, the prevalence of study drug use among college students varied between 4.2% -77%, with an age range of 18-30 and a higher rate of use among males. The influencing factors focused on academic achievement stress. However, only four articles discussed the interventions to prevent the use of study drugs. None talked about policies that can help avoid the issue, whether existing or new ones. The use of study drugs is a recognized public health crisis across college campuses in the United States, and more effective interventions need to be developed to reduce this impact.