Prevalence of nonmedical use of prescription-type opioids, methylphenidate, and sedative-hypnotics among university students in the south of Iran: a regression analysis

Electron Physician. 2018 Jun 25;10(6):6981-6987. doi: 10.19082/6981. eCollection 2018 Jun.


Background and aim: Nonmedical use of prescription drugs needs particular attention. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of prescription-type opioids, methylphenidate and sedative-hypnotics use, and related factors in university students.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 524 students of Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences were selected by multi-stage sampling in 2016. A self-report questionnaire had been used examining substance use, religious beliefs and parental support. The questions about substance use were prepared based on the World Health Organization Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (WHO ASSIST). Religious beliefs were measured by Kendler's general religiosity questionnaire. Parental support was measured by the Persian version of Aneshensel and Sucoff's scale. All of the analysis was performed using Chi-square test, Fisher exact test, independent-samples t-test and binary logistic regression in SPSS 16 software. The level of significance was 0.05.

Results: The last year prevalence of prescription-type opioids, methylphenidate and sedative-hypnotics use was 16.1%, 3.3%, and 10.3%, respectively. The final model of logistic regression indicated hookah use (OR=2.5), methylphenidate use (OR=4.5), sedative-hypnotics use (OR=2.7), and were associated with students' prescription-type opioids use. The protective factor was familial support (OR=0.97) for prescription-type opioids use. Moreover, sedative-hypnotics use (OR=5.7) and illicit drug use (OR=27.6) were associated with methylphenidate use among students.

Conclusions: The results of this study showed that the prevalence of nonmedical use of prescription drugs is considerably high among students and is in need of interventions to reduce the prevalence of these drugs in universities.

Keywords: Familial support; Non-medical use; Prescription drugs; Religiosity; University students.