The Role of Mental Illness in Alcohol Abuse and Prescription Drug Misuse: Gender-Specific Analysis of College Students

Celia C. Lo, Allison N. Monge, Rebecca J. Howell, Tyrone C. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


The present study examined whether and how collegians' misuse of prescription drugs and alcohol abuse are associated with mental illness and with a lack of mental health care. Nationally representative data were derived from 5,241 full-time American college students who completed the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. We observed the presence of alcohol abuse/dependence and the nonmedical use of prescription drugs to be associated with relatively serious mental illness and with lack of health care. In pursuing gender-specific results, we found that the association between alcohol abuse and mental illness was stronger among females than males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013



  • alcohol abuse
  • college students
  • gender differences
  • mental illness
  • prescription-type drug misuse

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