Mental Health Problems With College Kids That Abuse Prescription Drugs

According to a recent article, college students in the U.S. that abuse prescription drugs are linked to more depression and thoughts of suicide.

Researchers analyzed over 26,000 of the college student’s data from 40 different campuses in a 2008 survey from the American College Health Association National College Assessment. The survey asked questions about student use of nonmedical drugs like prescription painkillers, antidepressants, stimulants and others. It also asked questions about their state of mental health in the last year.

Almost 13 percent of students said they had used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. The ones that were much more likely to use them were those who had felt sad, hopeless, depressed or even had considered suicide.

The researchers discovered the association among the female students who used painkillers was especially strong.

Co-author Amanda Divin at Western Illinois University said since prescription drugs undergo testing by the FDA students see them as a safe drug, especially since they are also prescribed by doctors. They also see no harm by sharing them with other family or friends if there are some leftovers.

Divin explained that all drugs do have potentially harmful side effects and their study only showed that painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin are related to suicidal thoughts as well as depression.

Such drugs should be overseen by your doctor and this is why there is a need for mental health resources especially at college campuses. The conclusion is that college aged students are using prescription painkiller drugs to relieve their mental stress.

Divin added that more investigation is certainly needed when you consider how widespread prescription painkiller sharing is on campuses coupled with the mental health problems associated with these college years as well.

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The Pain of Addiction

Vicodin addiction often starts innocently enough. Most people start taking Vicodin or other pain medications after surgery or an injury. But then they can’t stop. They need more to get the same pain relief. They start doctor shopping to get more pills. And the cycle continues until it takes over their lives.