Depressed Moods in Correlation with Stimulant Drug Use Research Proposal

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Running Heading: Depressed Moods And Non- Medical Use Of Prescription Stimulants

Correlation between Depressed Moods and
Non-medical Use of Prescription Stimulants
Among College Students

Abstract
The correlation between non-medical use of prescription stimulants and prolonged depressed moods among college students is an issue that has not seen much light in the psychological research world. This study seeks to determine if there is a positive correlation between the non-medical use of prescription stimulants and prolonged depressed moods. To obtain a group of people who had experienced prolonged depressed moods, we will administer the Depressive Severity Survey (Kroenke 1989). We will then screen out those who we categorized as experiencing prolonged depressed moods and had them take a drug abuse screening test. The current studies show that there is a positive correlation between drug abuse and depressive disorders. Unlike most past research, this study seeks to identify solely the effects prescriptions stimulants have on depressed moods.

Correlation between Depressed Moods and
Non-medical Use of Prescription Stimulants
Among College Students
This study hopes to show a correlation between non-medical use of prescription stimulants and depressed moods in college students. Epidemiologic studies have found relationships between non-medical use of prescription stimulants and the presence of depressed mood among young adults (Huang et al., 2006). Meanwhile, a recent study showed that since 1992, the number of adolescents, ages 12-17, in the general population reported non-medical prescription drug use increased 212% (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2005). Also, National College Health Assessment (NCHA) II found that many college students self-report being so depressed that they have difficulty functioning (NCHA, 2004). The growing trend of non-medical prescription drug use among young adults generally, and among college students specifically, is cause for concern given the addictive potential of such medication and the health consequences of misusing these substances; specifically the relationship with depression. This concern becomes even more necessary when taking into account that young adults, 18 to 25 years of age, with past-year depressed mood are the least likely to report receiving treatment (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008b Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, The NSDUH Report: Treatment for past year depression among adults. Office of Applied Studies, Author, Rockville, MD (2008).(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008b).

To examine the issue at hand, we must first define the characteristics is which we plan to study; first and foremost, what do we define a depressed mood to be. Depressed moods are indicated by “loss of interest in doing things you once found enjoyable, loss of appetite, severe weight loss or weight gain, anorexia or overeating, loss of emotional expression, constant sadness, empty moods, random mood changes, feelings of hopelessness, never-ending pessimism, strange feelings of despair, unexpected fatigue, low energy levels, insomnia and sleep disturbances” (PsyWeb.com). We measured the presence of these indicators through a self-report survey. Then we screened out the people who had higher rates of prolonged depressed moods. This modified group then took a survey identifying the amount of non-medical prescription drug use they partake in. The non-medical use of prescription stimulants in accordance with our study is categorized as the use of prescription medication without a prescription or use solely for the feeling or experience caused by the drug. Literature Review

According to the literature, there has been a relevant increase in non-medical prescription drug use, as well as depression, among adolescents in recent years. According to a study done in...
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