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MSU Denver partners with national leaders to study medication misuse

University will develop outreach efforts as part of Stimulant Medication Misuse Pilot Program.

By Lindsey Coulter

September 12, 2019

Health Center at Auraria provider consulting with student.Recent data show that an estimated 10% to 15% of all college students nationwide use/abuse stimulant medication for nonmedical purposes. To help researchers address this trend, and to help national education leaders raise awareness of prescription-stimulant misuse on college campuses, Metropolitan State University of Denver will participate in the Stimulant Medication Misuse Pilot Program this fall.

MSU Denver was one of only six institutions across the nation selected to participate in the pilot program. The Health Center at Auraria’s Health Education and Outreach team will lead the effort and develop specific programming around the topic. The team also will collaborate with peers at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Coalition to Prevent ADHD Medication Misuse.

Richard Miccio, clinical outreach coordinator, Health Center at Auraria, notes that MSU Denver students are not using or abusing stimulant medications at a higher-than-average rate (based on recent data released by the American College Health Association). However, participation in the study is a good opportunity to develop programming around this issue and to better serve the campus community as a whole.

“Not only will this program raise awareness and bring insight into the campus-specific data around prescription-stimulant misuse, but the data and outcomes will be used to inform the creation of a NASPA training specific to stimulant-medication misuse,” Miccio explained. “The outcomes will also be used to inform campus outreach and education efforts specific to this topic, of which there has been little in the past.”

Through the program, six student employees within the Health Education and Outreach team completed NASPA-sponsored training in August to become certified peer educators. The students will build an outreach program/event from scratch, collect information and data, and submit programming information and outcomes to NASPA and CPAMM in December.

The data will be mostly representative of outreach/program efforts, focusing on the number of students served, outcomes related to learning objectives, planning and programming data, etc., Miccio said. This outcome data may be published in future NASPA and CPAMM training materials.

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