Prevalence and psychosocial correlates of party-drug use and associated problems among university students in the Netherlands

L.E. Kunst, W.A. Gebhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Recent developments in drug use patterns call for an investigation of current party-drug use and associated problems among college students, who appear to be an important target population for harm reduction interventions.
Objectives
In addition to reporting on party-drug use prevalence, we investigated whether initial use and continuation of party-drug use among students was associated with demographic, personality and psychosocial factors.
Methods
An online questionnaire was administered to 446 students from a Dutch university, inquiring about party-drug use, demographic characteristics, social norms and personality (big five, impulsiveness, aggression). Univariate and multivariate bootstrapped linear regression analyses were used.
Results
Of all students, 22.9% indicated having used party-drugs at least once, with a notable sex difference (39.2% of men vs. 16.2% of women). In contrast to the reported trends in Dutch nightlife, GHB was used rarely (lifetime 1.6%) and new psychoactive substances (NPS; 6.7%) appeared almost equally popular as amphetamines (7.6%) and cocaine (7%). Mild health/psychosocial problems (e.g., doing embarrassing things, feeling unwell) were common (65%), whereas serious problems (e.g., being hospitalized) were rare. Neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness and impulsiveness were associated with lifetime but not regular party-drug use. Of all predictors, lifetime and regular party-drug use were most strongly related to lenient injunctive and descriptive norms in friends, and a low motivation to comply with parents.
Conclusions
Our findings indicate that harm reduction/preventive interventions might profit from focusing on social norms, and targeting students who are highly involved in a pro-party-drug environment while experiencing less parental influence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2077-2088
JournalSubstance Use & Misuse
Volume53
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • AGGRESSION QUESTIONNAIRE
  • ALCOHOL-USE
  • ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY-DISORDER
  • BARRATT IMPULSIVENESS SCALE
  • COLLEGE-STUDENTS
  • ECSTASY USE
  • NONPARAMETRIC BOOTSTRAP
  • PLANNED BEHAVIOR
  • Party-drugs
  • SUBSTANCE-USE DISORDERS
  • YOUNG-ADULTS
  • college students
  • new psychoactive substances
  • personality
  • social norms

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