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Concurrent use of amphetamine stimulants and antidepressants by undergraduate students

Authors Vo K, Neafsey P, Lin C

Received 19 September 2014

Accepted for publication 4 November 2014

Published 22 January 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 161—172

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S74602

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Kim Vo,1 Patricia J Neafsey,2 Carolyn A Lin3

1University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, 2School of Nursing and Center for Health Information and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 3Department of Communication Sciences and Center for Health Information and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA

Abstract: Undergraduate students were recruited to participate in an online survey to report their use of amphetamine stimulants and other drugs. Significant differences were found between students reporting (n=79; 4.0%) and not reporting (n=1,897; 96%) amphetamine-stimulant use in the past month – in terms of race/ethnicity, class standing, residence, health symptoms, self-health report – in addition to alcohol, tobacco, pain-reliever, and antidepressant use. Health symptoms reported more often by stimulant users included depression, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and nicotine craving. Health care providers of college students should query these patients about symptoms that could be related to depression and amphetamine use. In particular, they should provide education at the point of care around the risks of amphetamine use in general and the specific risks in those students who have symptoms of depression and/or are taking antidepressant medication. Prevention programs should also target the risks of concurrent use of amphetamines, antidepressants, and other drugs among college students.

Keywords: stimulant use, depression, college students, self-medication

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