Dr. Arsham Alamian, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Dr. Robert Pack, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the ETSU College of Public Health, are collaborating with Dr. Rajkumar Sevak, an inaugural fellow at the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, on research related to prescription stimulant misuse on college campuses. The research is funded by a grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents.
The project will include an electronic survey of students at approximately a dozen community colleges in Tennessee. The aim of the survey is to determine the prevalence of non-medical use of prescription stimulants on campuses, risk factors for misuse and specific areas where interventions for reducing the misuse can be developed.
Dr. Alamian stated, “This grant is the first of its kind to address nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NMUS) among community college students in Tennessee. Previous research has mainly focused on nonmedical prescription stimulant use among 4-year college or university students.” Dr. Alamian and Dr. Pack will provide guidance and assistance with the data management and data analysis part of the project as well as participating in manuscript development and publication.
One of the key aspects of the study is assessing the relationship between a number of previously established risk factors for nonmedical prescription stimulant use (e.g., low grade-point average, illicit substance use) and behavior while and examining the impact of several theory-based mechanisms the team thinks may drive misuse. The findings will inform prevention programs and interventions that can be utilized to reduce nonmedical use of prescription stimulant rates among community college students across the state. Several other ETSU faculty members are working with Sevak on the project, including Dr. Nick Hagemeier from the pharmacy school, and Dr. Kelly Foster in the College of Arts and Sciences.