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Nonmedical use of prescription opioid medication (NMPO) in the United States is a public health crisis, resulting in high rates of emergency room visits, morbidity, and mortality. The purpose of this study was to explore prevalence estimates and correlates of NMPO among a convenience sample of college students in the northeast and southeast regions of the US to help generate directions for future research. Motivations for misuse, age of onset, access, concomitant substance use, and individual factors were investigated among a sample of undergraduate students from two universities. Participants (N = 847) completed a battery of various self-report measures. Findings revealed that 7.7% (Southeastern University) and 12.8% of students (Northeastern University) reported lifetime NMPO, whereas past-month NMPO was reported by 0.8% and 0.9% of participants, respectively. Lifetime history of regularly using alcohol, nonmedical use of benzodiazepine medication, nonmedical use of prescription stimulants, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and executive functioning (i.e., metacognition and behavioral regulation) were significantly related to lifetime history of NMPO in this college sample. These findings offer several potential subsequent lines of investigation regarding the associations between various demographic and psychological factors and NMPO. Future research is needed to help identify college students who are at risk of NMPO.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.