Use of Unscheduled Drugs in College Students: Prevalence and Mental Health Correlates pp. 301-310
Authors: (Jared Kean McIntyre, Anna Weinberg, E. David Klonsky, Department of Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, and others)
Abstract: While much research has been devoted to illicit drug use in college students, researchers have often overlooked the use and misuse of legal psychoactive substances. The present study examines the prevalence and mental health correlates of the use of two currently unscheduled drugs, Dextromethorphan (DXM) and Salvia Divinorum (S.D.). A random sample of 5,000 full-tim1e undergraduate students was drawn from a university undergraduate population. These students were invited via email to participate in an Internet-based survey. The survey had a 34% response rate and produced a final sample of 1,656 undergraduates. The lifetime prevalence for the use of either unscheduled drug was 10.2% (4.8% had used S.D. but not DXM; 3.4% had used DXM but not S.D.; 2.1% had used both). The past-year prevalence for the use of S.D. and DXM was 4% and 2.2% respectively. Unscheduled drug use displayed equivalent or larger relationships to mental health variables as use of illicit substances. Findings suggest that rates of unscheduled drug use are non-trivial among undergraduates and have mental-health implications on par with the use of illicit substances.