Date of Conferral
A lack of available data exists regarding environmental factors related to prescription drug abuse (PDA), which could explain the ineffectiveness of efforts to reduce PDA in Florida. Prescription drug abuse among adults older than age 18 varies with the level of education achieved, and these metrics potentially reflect socioeconomic differences. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the connections between contextual aspects of prescription opioid abuse among Florida's middle and high school students to understand youth PDA in relation to their environments. This study consisted of a secondary analysis of existing PDA data (dependent variable) in relation to a number of independent variables, including the incidence of female-headed households, the nature of residential environment, adherence to religious precepts, and students' ability to achieve educational goals. Incidence of female-headed households, the nature of residential environment, and adherence to religious precepts were not found to predict youth PDA. The only finding of significance was that PDA predicted lowered students' ability to achieve educational goals (p = .015). Data collected from this study might be used by school counselors and administrators when developing drug abuse prevention, intervention, and educational programs, thereby leading to positive social change in helping to reduce PDA among youth.