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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

The Prevalence of Addiction to Prescription Drugs in Adults

Purpose: To evaluate the incidence of prescription drug abuse and its correlating factors, including but not limited to, demographics, social background, education, and prior substance abuse. Design: A meta-analysis was completed, resulting in nineteen articles which provided the data and information for this study. Research Questions: 1. Does the lack of patient comprehension and inadequate teaching by health professionals contribute to the probability of abuse? 2. Does the lack of a positive support system increase likelihood of prescription drug misuse? 3. Are college students more likely to use prescriptions non-medically because of academic expectations and social pressures? 4. Does a history of, or current us of legal and/or illegal substances place a higher risk of prescription abuse? Conclusions: After reviewing the literature it was found that a lack of patient education, especially regarding side effects, route of administration, and dosage, contributes to individual misuse of prescription medication. It was also noted that the absence of certain positive support systems is a predicating factor in abuse. In several instances, the research articles cited that high academic expecta tions and social stressors showed greater non-medical use of prescription drugs, which include: low grade point average, attendance at a competitive University in academically competitive geographic locations, membership of a Greek organization, especially when living in Greek-exclusive residences. In addition, individuals with a history of legal or illegal substance use are more likely to misuse prescription medications. Implications: Factors have been identified that place an individual at a higher risk for abuse. With the knowledge of these factors, measures can be taken to reduce risk factors for abuse, in an effort to reduce the prevalence of addiction to prescription drugs. There is an abundance of general information on abuse of prescription medications, however, it would be beneficial to implement preventions and evaluate their effectiveness in further studies.

Presenters: Cassandra Hayes (Undergraduate Student)
Jenna Nurse (Undergraduate Student)
Marlene Ogene (Undergraduate Student)
Rachel Wheeler (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Nursing
Location: Fireside Lounge, Seymour Union
Time: 11 am (Session II)