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Heavy Drinking and Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs among University Students: A 9-Year Follow-Up

1
Department of Public Health, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela 15782, Spain
2
CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid 28029, Spain
3
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela 15782, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162939
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 11 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Abstract

Purpose: Investigations suggest non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) is associated with heavy drinking and polydrug use among university students. Our aim is to determine the prevalence of NMUPD among university students and to analyze its association with alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use, and to study the role of the age of drinking onset. Methods: Cohort study among university Spanish students (n = 1382). Heavy drinking (HED) and risky consumption (RC) were measured with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Questions related to tobacco and cannabis consumption were also formulated. NMUPD refers to sedative, anxiety, or pain medication intake within the last 15 days without medical prescription. All variables were measured at 18, 20, and 27 years. Multilevel logistic regression for repeated measures was used to obtain adjusted OR (odds ratios). We analyzed the results from a gender perspective. Results: Prevalence of NMUPD were higher in students who already partook in NMUPD at the beginning of the study. NMUPD in women at 27 is 3 times higher than at 18, while in men it is twice. Among females, RC (OR = 1.43) and cannabis consumption (OR = 1.33) are risk factors for NMUPD, while later onset of alcohol use (OR = 0.66) constitutes a protective factor. No significant differences were found for males. Conclusions: NMUPD is prevalent among university students. RC and early onset of alcohol use were associated with higher prevalence of NMUPD in females. The prevalence of NMUPD increased with age in both sexes. Strategies for reducing risky drinking and delaying onset of drinking should be provided for university students. Pharmacists and parents should be alerted to the risk of NMUPD. View Full-Text
Keywords: substance abuse; pharmacoepidemiology; university students; cohort substance abuse; pharmacoepidemiology; university students; cohort
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Busto Miramontes, A.; Moure-Rodríguez, L.; Díaz-Geada, A.; Rodríguez-Holguín, S.; Corral, M.; Cadaveira, F.; Caamaño-Isorna, F. Heavy Drinking and Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs among University Students: A 9-Year Follow-Up. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2939.

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