Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
When used as medically intended, prescription opioid and stimulant medications can have therapeutic benefits. Misuse of these medications, however, presents significant health risks, including increased risk of death and injury. Young adults, ages 18 to 25, have the highest rates of misuse of prescription opioids and stimulants nationally and within this age group, college students may be particularly at risk. This two-study dissertation explored factors related to prescription opioid and prescription stimulant misuse in college students in order to assess similarities and differences in correlates and trends.
Study #1 assessed for similarities and differences in correlates of prescription opioid misuse and prescription stimulant misuse, and built predictive models of prescription opioid misuse and prescription stimulant misuse. Study #2 examined the relationship between perceived risk of prescription misuse and engagement in misuse of each type of prescription. Additionally, study #2 examined initial motives for misuse and initial source of misused medication for prescription opioid and prescription stimulant misuse. Results from study #1 demonstrated some variation in predictors used for optimized prediction of prescription opioid and stimulant misuse. Results from study #2 revealed that higher perceived risk of prescription misuse is related to lower engagement in prescription opioid and prescription stimulant misuse. Additionally, there was a significant relationship between initial motive for misuse and initial source of misused medication for prescription opioids, such that participants who engaged in prescription opioid misuse for the first time in order to relieve physical pain were most likely to obtain the prescription opioid medication misused from their own prescription (i.e., leftover from an old prescription, taking prescription in a way other than how it was prescribed). Implications, limitations, and future directions of both studies were discussed.
Murray, Julie, "Similarities and Differences in Correlates and Trends in Prescription Stimulant and Prescription Opioid Misuse Among College Students" (2023). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 8895.
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