RISK FACTORS FOR METHYLPHENIDATE USE AMONG PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR MEDICAL STUDENTS OF PESHAWAR, KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA

Bushra Shafiq Khan, Muhammad Saad Bin Nasir, Ali Hassan Nasir, Shandana Qazi, Rameen Habib, Syed Ahmed

Abstract


Introduction: Methylphenidate, the medication prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), is being used recreationally and abused by college students to enhance academic performance. The present study was conducted to measure and compare the magnitude of methylphenidate use in selected private and public sector medical colleges as well as to assess the risk factors associated with the intake of methylphenidate.

Materials & Methods: The study was a comparative cross-sectional study conducted in two medical colleges of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Khyber Medical College, public sector) and (Rehman Medical College, private sector). The sample size was 245 students, 123 from Rehman Medical College (RMC) and 122 from Khyber Medical College (KMC), excluding the first year MBBS students. Self-administered questionnaire was completed by the students selected through multistage systematic random sampling. Descriptive statistics and Binary Logistic Regression were done through SPSS 15.

Results: Among the 245 respondents, 53(21.6%) students claimed to have taken the drug at least once during their MBBS course (RMC 24/123, 19.51%; KMC 29/122 responders, 29 (23.78%). Use of the drug was more common in males (RMC 83.33% males; KMC 55.17% males) as compared to females. Students who had friends using the drug or were compelled by friends, as well as students who had to appear in a supplementary examination had a higher risk of using the drug (both having p<0.001).

Conclusion: Methylphenidate was used by a relatively high percentage (about 20%) of private and public sector medical students, with males at a higher proportion; peer pressure and failing a professional exam had a direct relationship with use of the drug.

Keywords: Methylphenidate; Substance Abuse; Street Drugs; Substance-Related Disorder.

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