RISK FACTORS FOR NONMEDICAL PRESCRIPTION ANALGESIC USE AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS: RESULTS OF A PROSPECTIVE STUDY
Morioka, Christine Kempsell
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Purpose—Nonmedical Prescription Analgesic (NPA) use is a serious public health concern and studies on risk factors for NPA use are lacking. This investigation used preexisting data from a landmark longitudinal, prospective study of college students, the College Life Study (CLS), to examine the longitudinal relationship between four suspected risk factors—affective dysregulation, conduct problems, depressive symptoms, and general psychological health—and NPA use. Methods—The sample was comprised of 1,253 young adults originally recruited as first-year college students from a large, mid-Atlantic university. Results—10.5% (n=103) of the participants during year 3 of the study reported past year NPA use, of which 55.3% (n=57) were male and 81.6% (n=84) were white. Affective dysregulation and conduct problems were found to be significantly and longitudinally (baseline to year 3) associated with incident NPA use after controlling for gender, parents’ education, and race/ethnicity. Conclusions—Affective dysregulation and conduct disorder are longitudinally associated with NPA use among college students. These findings might aid in prevention efforts to reduce NPA use among college students.