International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Risk of Opioid Misuse in a College Population
James Gilbert

Objectives: To evaluate the potential risk for opioid misuse in a limited sample of college students utilizing the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain-Revised (SOAPP-R). This study also looks at the impact of unrealistic expectation on increased risk for misuse. Method: The Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain-Revised (SOAPP-R) was incorporated as part of a broader questionnaire including specific questions pertaining to the use of both opioid and over-the-counter pain medications. This questionnaire was distributed by internet list-serve to both graduates and undergraduates in a rural public university. Results: There were 134 responders (female-110, Male-11, 2-deferred) who completed the questionnaire. Of those responding, 12.5% fell into the High-Risk category, 44.12% fall into the Moderate-Risk category, and 42.53% fell into the Low-Risk category. Of those individuals who completed the questionnaire, 57.2% expected to become pain free after taking some form of pain medication. Combining Moderate and High Risk categories demonstrated a clinically significant correlation between expectation to become pain free and increased risk for misuse. Consideration of these categories individually failed to reach clinical significance. Conclusions: In this sample, greater than half the college students participating had a moderate to high risk for the misuse of pain medications as measured by the SOAPP-R. Summary: This study demonstrated an increased risk opioid abuse in a limited population of college students. The primary limitation in this case was the limited sample size. Future research should include a greater number of participants that are more evenly distributed relative to gender. Future research should also identify those who engage in recreational use of opioids.

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