Misuse of prescription drugs on university campuses: options for prevention

Odette Parry, Katharine Holloway, Trevor Bennett, Caroline Gorden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There has been little research on prescription drug misuse among university students in the UK. In this paper, we report the findings of a survey of students in one university on the extent and nature of their prescription drug misuse and explore some of the prevention programmes that might reduce it. The research found that a notable proportion of students who completed our questionnaire reported that they had misused prescription drugs. The most common drugs of misuse were pain relievers and the most common forms of these were the opioid-based analgesics. Sleeping medications were also commonly misused. A review of the research literature on methods used to prevent prescription drug misuse found a wide range of innovative programmes including: web-based surveillance systems, management systems for monitoring and policing the supply of prescriptions, enforcement programmes aimed to reduce the supply of illegal internet pharmacies, screen tests for identifying students at risk, and pharmaceutical advances in the development of non-abusable drug delivery systems. The paper concludes by appealing for more research to be done to understand the nature of prescription drug misuse among university students and for further tests and evaluations of the effectiveness of programmes designed to prevent it. Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/14659891.2013.878762
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)324 - 334
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers and Technology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2013


    • prescription drug misuse
    • university students
    • prevention


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