Drug Use Among College Students Essay

917 words - 4 pages

2PSYCHOTROPIC DRUG USE AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS 2AbstractThe objective of this experiment was to find out whether college students on psychotropic drugs were aware of the side effects, appropriately monitored by prescribing physicians and were taking medication as prescribed (Oberleitner, Tzilos, Zumberg, & Grekin, 2011, p. 658). Fifty-five college students taking psychotropic drugs were recruited between the summer 2008 and fall 2009. They were all interviewed, assessing the interaction with prescribing physician, patterns of psychotropic drug use and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) substance disorders (Oberleitner et al., 2011, p. 658). According to Oberleitner et al., (2011) "Twenty-five percent of participants did not remember being assessed for suicidal ideation and thirty five percent met DSM criteria for substance dependence and a large number took their medication in different quantities or frequencies (p. 658)." It is concluded that many students are misusing psychotropic medications and is not being told to the prescribing physician (Oberleitner et al., 2011, p. 658).Keywords: alcohol, mental health, other drugsIntroductionAccording to Oberleitner et al., (2011) "Recent studies showed that 25.1% of students took psychotropic drugs in 2005. That is a 16% increase since 1994, according to the National Survey of Counseling Center Directors (p. 658)." Even though psychotropic drugs are effective in reducing psychiatric symptoms, it is unclear whether students are being told about the side effects. The side effects can be dangerous and require immediate intervention but most drug side effects can be managed by a change in dosage. It is also unclear whether students usingPSYCHOTROPIC DRUG USE AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS 3psychotropic drugs are being appropriately and frequently monitored. According to Oberleitner et al., (2011) "Life stressors, like intense environmental changes over a short period of time can cause psychotropic symptoms which can lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death among college students (p. 658)." It is also unknown whether students are taking their medication as prescribed, as well as mixing their medication with alcohol or other drugs, both of which can cause damage to the body. The goal of the study was to figure out whether students taking psychotropic drugs were being warned of the side effects, being frequently and appropriately monitored, and were taking their medication as prescribed (Oberleitner et al., 2011, p. 659).MethodsUndergraduates at a large, urban university were recruited through an online survey. Out of 2,850 students, 55 were chosen to participate (Oberleitner et al., 2011, p. 659). Out of the students chosen, 73% were on antidepressants, 50% were on anxiolytics and 20% were on mood stabilizers (Oberleitner et al., 2011, p. 659). Students in the study were more likely to be female, Caucasian, and older (Oberleitner et al., 2011, p. 659)....

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