Sharing and Selling of Prescription Medications in a College Student Sample

Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, USA.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.5). 03/2010; 71(3):262-9. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.09m05189ecr
Source: PubMed


To estimate the prevalence of prescription medication diversion among college students; to compare classes of medications with respect to the likelihood of diversion; to document the most common methods of diversion; and to examine the characteristics of students who diverted medications.
A cross-sectional analysis of personal interview data collected between August 2006 and August 2007 as part of an ongoing longitudinal study. The cohort of students, who were between the ages of 17 and 19 years at study onset, attended a large public university in the mid-Atlantic region. Information was gathered regarding a wide variety of variables, including demographics, diversion of medically prescribed drugs, illicit drug use, and childhood conduct problems.
Among 483 students prescribed a medication, 35.8% diverted a medication at least once in their lifetime. The most commonly diverted medication classes were prescription attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication (61.7% diversion rate) and prescription analgesics (35.1% diversion rate). Sharing was the most common method of diversion, with 33.6% of students sharing their medication(s) and 9.3% selling in their lifetime. Comparative analyses revealed that prescription medication diverters had used more illicit drugs in the past year and had more childhood conduct problems than nondiverters.
If confirmed, these findings have important clinical implications for improved physician-patient communication and vigilance regarding prescribing analgesic and stimulant medications for young adults.

Download full-text


Available from: Kathryn B Vincent, Jul 20, 2015
  • Source
    • "The use of psychoactive prescription drugs (PPDs) by young people for recreation and self-enhancement is a global concern, especially in the United States (US) where surveys suggest that nearly one-third of the population aged between 18 and 25 has used PPDs for non-medical reasons at least once in their lifetime (Colliver, Kroutil, Lantung, & Gfroerer, 2006; DuPont, 2010; SAMHSA, 2009). Numerous studies in the US have also shown that young people are key actors in the diffusion of stimulants, pain killers and tranquilizers (Garnier et al., 2010; Hall, Irwin, Bowman, Frankenberger, & Jewett, 2005; McCabe, Teter, & Boyd, 2006; Quintero & Nichter, 2011; Rasmussen, 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of psychoactive prescription drugs (PPDs) by young people is part of a broader worldwide trend towards the consumption of pharmaceuticals to improve social, emotional, and sexual performance. Few studies have examined how young people use PPDs in developing countries, where off-label use is likely to be greater due to weaker market controls. This study presents our findings on PPD use among sex workers in Makassar, Indonesia. We focus on one potent painkiller, Somadril, which is freely available over the counter in pharmacies. The sex workers we studied used most of their earnings to purchase Somadril pills, which they used to feel more confident and to make their work more palatable. This paper also traces the history of the active component in Somadril, carisoprodol. This was developed in the United States, where it was soon used recreationally. We found that knowledge of its effects seeped from health professionals into youth networks, where it was spread by word of mouth. The flow of information on carisoprodol's harmful effects, however, was less evident.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · International Journal of Drug Policy
  • Source
    • "nondistributors) experience more hyperactivity symptoms with their ADHD and more likely to be high sensation-seekers. While the work of Garnier et al. (2010) Jardin et al. (2011), and Sepúlveda et al. (2011) have contributed to our understanding of the characteristics of ADHD distributors , a more complex and layered profile is needed. Consequently, it is the purpose of this study to identify indicators of students, with current prescriptions to ADHD stimulants, who are most likely to illegally distribute their ADHD medication to their nonprescribed peers. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study identifies indicators of college students, with prescriptions to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) stimulants, who are most likely to distribute their medication to nonprescribed peers. 2,313 undergraduate students at a large Southeastern University were surveyed from 2009 to 2011. 5.2% (n = 120) were currently taking a prescribed ADHD stimulant. Analyses revealed that distributors are more likely to (1) take their medication less frequently; (2) misuse their stimulants for "off label" purposes; (3) be a member of a fraternity; (4) overestimate the percentages of users; and (5) belong to at-risk peer groups. The work concludes by discussing the study's implications, limitations and future research.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Substance Use & Misuse
  • Source
    • "Further, with close monitoring stimulants can be safely used to treat ADHD and reduce co-existing substance abuse. However, since prescription stimulants diverters have more childhood conduct problems than non-diverters, this area of developmental psychopathology needs special attention within a treatment program for ADHD plus SUD including stimulant prescription [54, 55]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Opinion statement Within the last 2 years the bulk of information on evidence based treatments in ADHD was reviewed quite intensively and new empirical studies could be added. This update reports comprehensively about actual and essential facts in the field related to brain development and sensitive periods, predictors of treatment, safety of medication, value of naturalistic studies, new drugs and complementary medicine, behavioral interventions including neurofeedback and psychosocial treatment, treatment of comorbidity, and ethical considerations including preventive aspects. The updated combination of well selected evidence based treatments (ie, pharma plus non-pharma) seems to be clinically and ethically recommended as also suggested by the European and American guidelines on ADHD.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Current Treatment Options in Neurology
Show more