Prevention and treatment of college student drug use: A review of the literature


Drug use during the college years is a significant public health concern. The primary goal of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of prevention and treatment studies of college student drug use in order to guide college prevention efforts and to inform and stimulate new research in this area. First, established risk factors for drug use were reviewed. High levels of personality traits including, impulsivity, sensation-seeking, negative emotionality, emotional dysregulation, and personality disorder symptoms increase risk for drug use. Drug use has also been linked to overestimating normative levels of drug use and experiencing negative life events, and specific motives for drug use are linked to more problematic patterns. There have been very few studies examining prevention and treatment, but parent-based and in-person brief motivational interventions appear to be promising. Longitudinal studies of the development and course of drug use among college students, as well as clinical trials to evaluate novel theoretically-based intervention and prevention programs that take into account established risk factors for drug abuse are needed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Title

Addictive Behaviors