Beyond risky alcohol use: Screening non-medical use of prescription drugs at National Alcohol Screening Day

Mark M. Silvestri, Holly Knight, Jessica Britt, Christopher J. Correia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Introdcution: Recent epidemiological data has indicated an increasing trend in the non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) among college students. NMUPD has shown a strong relationship with heavy alcohol use and associated negative consequences. Despite the trends and association with other risky behavior, there remain large gaps in the literature regarding this hazardous behavior. To date, no study has examined the prevalence of NMUPD among student attending National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD), and few studies have explored motives contributing to NMUPD, as well as the relationship between motives, NMUPD, and alcohol use. Methods: The current study examined the prevalence and motives for NMUPD among undergraduate students (N. = 128) attending NASD. Results: Overall, 42% of the sample reported NMUPD at least once in their lifetime, 29.7% at least once in the past year, and 18.0% reported simultaneously engaging in alcohol consumption and NMUPD. Pain relievers were the most frequently used drug class for lifetime use, and stimulants were the most frequently reported for past year use. Most students reported NMUPD for functional reasons. Students that engaged in binge drinking were three times more likely to report NMUPD. Conclusions: The findings from the current study suggest that events like NASD may provide a platform for screening and discussing NMUPD, and its associated risk with heavy alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-27
Number of pages3
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • College students
  • National Alcohol Screening Day
  • Prescription drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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