Prescription (Rx) drug abuse has emerged as a significant problem among young adults in America. While research indicates a dear pattern of abuse of Rx drugs by young adults, the social, psychological, and subcultural contexts associated with Rx drug abuse and related risk taking among young adults need further explication, particularly given that it may elevate HIV risk via sexual risk taking and injection drug use. Our goal is to conduct a study of the patterns and contexts of Rx drug abuse and risk taking among young adults in the New York City (NYC) metropolitan area. This grant application proposes a mixed-methods study of the abuse of various classes of Rx drugs, including pain killers, sedatives, and stimulants, by young adults in club subcultures and the youth in their networks to whom they are connected. The goals of the study include explorations of a) the contextual factors associated with Rx drug initiation and continued patterns of abuse among young adults, in particular transitions to illegal opiates or injection drug use, b) how gender and sexual orientation bear upon Rx drug abuse and risk among young adults, and c) the risks associated with Rx drug abuse, including sexual risk taking. A mixed-methods design, using ethnographic methods, qualitative interviews, and structured surveys, will be applied. We will use ethnographic methods including in-depth interviews to explore contextual factors related to Rx drug abuse and risk taking. The in-depth interviews utilize Critical Incident Measures to draw out narratives about initiation experiences and experiences with recent patterns of use. Beyond ethnographic methods, a structured survey will be used to obtain epidemiological data and data on factors related to Rx drug abuse and risk. We will recruit 400 Rx drug abusing young adults aged 18 to 29 in NYC using Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS). The survey will be administered a second time through an on-line survey provided to subjects at 12-months following the original assessment. The combination of these methods in this study will enable the development of a fuller contextual understanding of Rx drug abuse among young adults and its associated risks, including HIV risk, which will be instrumental in the development of health promotion activities and interventions.

Public Health Relevance

This study will enable a descriptive epidemiological profile of prescription drug abuse and its associated risks, including HIV risk, among young adults. Specifically, the project will explore the patterns and contexts of prescription drug abuse and will examine how gender and sexual orientation shape prescription drug abuse and risk taking among young adults, particularly sexual risk taking and injection drug use. This profile will assist with the development of prevention and intervention activities, both for Rx drug abuse itself and related risks, such as HIV and STDs.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DA025081-05
Application #
8474736
Study Section
Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Study Section (RPIA)
Program Officer
Obrien, Moira
Project Start
2009-08-01
Project End
2015-05-31
Budget Start
2014-06-01
Budget End
2015-05-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$316,946
Indirect Cost
$50,309
Name
Purdue University
Department
Social Sciences
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
072051394
City
West Lafayette
State
IN
Country
United States
Zip Code
47907
Kelly, Brian C; Trimarco, James; LeClair, Amy et al. (2015) Symbolic boundaries, subcultural capital and prescription drug misuse across youth cultures. Sociol Health Illn 37:325-39
Kelly, Brian C; Rendina, H Jonathon; Vuolo, Mike et al. (2015) Influences of motivational contexts on prescription drug misuse and related drug problems. J Subst Abuse Treat 48:49-55
Kelly, Brian C; Rendina, H Jonathon; Vuolo, Mike et al. (2015) A typology of prescription drug misuse: a latent class approach to differences and harms. Drug Alcohol Rev 34:211-20
Vuolo, Mike; Kelly, Brian C; Wells, Brooke E et al. (2014) Correlates of prescription drug market involvement among young adults. Drug Alcohol Depend 143:257-62
Kelly, Brian C; Wells, Brooke E; Pawson, Mark et al. (2014) Combinations of prescription drug misuse and illicit drugs among young adults. Addict Behav 39:941-4
Wells, Brooke E; Kelly, Brian C; Pawson, Mark et al. (2013) Correlates of concurrent energy drink and alcohol use among socially active adults. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 39:8-15
Kelly, Brian C; Wells, Brooke E; Leclair, Amy et al. (2013) Prescription drug misuse among young adults: looking across youth cultures. Drug Alcohol Rev 32:288-94
Kelly, Brian C; Wells, Brooke E; Pawson, Mark et al. (2013) Novel psychoactive drug use among younger adults involved in US nightlife scenes. Drug Alcohol Rev 32:588-93