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Prevalence and incidence of drug use among college students: an 8-year longitudinal analysis.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 2017; 43(6):711-718AJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Drug use among college students is associated with adverse academic and health outcomes and risks to personal safety.

OBJECTIVES

This study utilized data from a longitudinal study to estimate annual prevalence, cumulative lifetime prevalence, and incidence of ten types of drug use during the eight years after college entry and the average age of onset of each drug used.

METHODS

Participants (N = 1,253; 52% female) were young adults who were originally enrolled as first-time, first-year students at a university in the mid-Atlantic US. Annual personal interviews gathered data about the use of seven illicit drugs and three prescription drugs used nonmedically. Annual follow-up rates ranged from 76 to 91%.

RESULTS

Marijuana was the most commonly used drug in every year of the study, with the highest annual prevalence estimates in Year 3 (47%wt). In Year 8, when the modal age of participants was 25, 29%wt used marijuana during the past year. Nonmedical use of prescription drugs was more prevalent during college than in the later years of the study. Although the prevalence of cocaine and ecstasy use was low (cumulative prevalence estimates of 17%wt and 13%wt, respectively), incidence for these drugs was particularly high in the later years of the study.

CONCLUSION

Drug use is prevalent among college students, and drug use persists among young adults, even after many have graduated college. More attention should be directed at identifying and intervening with students at risk for drug use to mitigate possible academic, health, and safety consequences.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Department of Behavioral and Community Health, Center on Young Adult Health and Development , University of Maryland School of Public Health , College Park , MD , USA.a Department of Behavioral and Community Health, Center on Young Adult Health and Development , University of Maryland School of Public Health , College Park , MD , USA.a Department of Behavioral and Community Health, Center on Young Adult Health and Development , University of Maryland School of Public Health , College Park , MD , USA.a Department of Behavioral and Community Health, Center on Young Adult Health and Development , University of Maryland School of Public Health , College Park , MD , USA.a Department of Behavioral and Community Health, Center on Young Adult Health and Development , University of Maryland School of Public Health , College Park , MD , USA.b Department of Psychology , University of Maryland , College Park , MD , USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28402711

Citation

Arria, Amelia M., et al. "Prevalence and Incidence of Drug Use Among College Students: an 8-year Longitudinal Analysis." The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, vol. 43, no. 6, 2017, pp. 711-718.
Arria AM, Caldeira KM, Allen HK, et al. Prevalence and incidence of drug use among college students: an 8-year longitudinal analysis. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2017;43(6):711-718.
Arria, A. M., Caldeira, K. M., Allen, H. K., Bugbee, B. A., Vincent, K. B., & O'Grady, K. E. (2017). Prevalence and incidence of drug use among college students: an 8-year longitudinal analysis. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 43(6), pp. 711-718. doi:10.1080/00952990.2017.1310219.
Arria AM, et al. Prevalence and Incidence of Drug Use Among College Students: an 8-year Longitudinal Analysis. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2017;43(6):711-718. PubMed PMID: 28402711.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Prevalence and incidence of drug use among college students: an 8-year longitudinal analysis. AU - Arria,Amelia M, AU - Caldeira,Kimberly M, AU - Allen,Hannah K, AU - Bugbee,Brittany A, AU - Vincent,Kathryn B, AU - O'Grady,Kevin E, Y1 - 2017/04/12/ PY - 2017/4/14/pubmed PY - 2018/2/6/medline PY - 2017/4/14/entrez KW - College students KW - drug use KW - longitudinal studies KW - nonmedical prescription drug use KW - substance use SP - 711 EP - 718 JF - The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse JO - Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse VL - 43 IS - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: Drug use among college students is associated with adverse academic and health outcomes and risks to personal safety. OBJECTIVES: This study utilized data from a longitudinal study to estimate annual prevalence, cumulative lifetime prevalence, and incidence of ten types of drug use during the eight years after college entry and the average age of onset of each drug used. METHODS: Participants (N = 1,253; 52% female) were young adults who were originally enrolled as first-time, first-year students at a university in the mid-Atlantic US. Annual personal interviews gathered data about the use of seven illicit drugs and three prescription drugs used nonmedically. Annual follow-up rates ranged from 76 to 91%. RESULTS: Marijuana was the most commonly used drug in every year of the study, with the highest annual prevalence estimates in Year 3 (47%wt). In Year 8, when the modal age of participants was 25, 29%wt used marijuana during the past year. Nonmedical use of prescription drugs was more prevalent during college than in the later years of the study. Although the prevalence of cocaine and ecstasy use was low (cumulative prevalence estimates of 17%wt and 13%wt, respectively), incidence for these drugs was particularly high in the later years of the study. CONCLUSION: Drug use is prevalent among college students, and drug use persists among young adults, even after many have graduated college. More attention should be directed at identifying and intervening with students at risk for drug use to mitigate possible academic, health, and safety consequences. SN - 1097-9891 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28402711/Prevalence_and_incidence_of_drug_use_among_college_students:_an_8_year_longitudinal_analysis_ L2 - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00952990.2017.1310219 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -