Use of substances among professionals and students of professional programs: A review of the literature
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Background and aims: This literature review investigates the scope of information regarding selfreported substance use by professionals and students in professional programs, with a focus on anticipated and actual effects of substances. Methods: A review of English, peer-reviewed journals and professional journals was conducted. Articles were included if they reported empirical findings of original research and specifically described an aspect of substance use (e.g. type of substance used, patterns of use, reasons for use) by professionals or students. Results: Of the 130 articles ultimately included, 105 involved anonymous self-administered survey methodology. Self-reported data about the effects of substance use or reasons for use were reported in 35 articles. Reasons for use included positive impact on performance and experience, such as fun, pleasure, sleep, enhanced work performance, improved attention and concentration, and relaxation. Predictive associations were analysed regarding demographic factors, mental health, type of profession, and area of specialisation. Conclusions: Little is known about the effects of substance use on the performance or experience of professionals or students in professional programs. Research is required that incorporates qualitative methodologies, elicits anticipated and actual effects of substance use, including controlled and beneficial patterns of use. Minimisation of research bias is key to future study of the effects of substance use by professionals or students in professional programs.
Kiepek, N., & Baron, J.-L. (2017, Sept). Use of substances among professionals and students of professional programs: A review of the literature. Drugs: Education, Intervention, and Policy, 26(1), 1-26. doi: 10.1080/09687637.2017.1375080