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Use of Stimulant Substances Among University Students in Tehran: A Qualitative Study

AUTHORS

Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar 1 , * , Golara Khastoo 2 , Mahdieh Moinolghorabaei 3 , Masud Yunesian 4 , Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi 5

AUTHORS INFORMATION

1 Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Department for Mental Health and Substance Use Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS (IRCHA), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Keshavarz Blvd., Tehran, Iran

2 Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran

3 Department of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Center for Environmental Research & School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran

How to Cite: Rahimi-Movaghar A, Khastoo G, Moinolghorabaei M, Yunesian M, Sadeghi A. Use of Stimulant Substances Among University Students in Tehran: A Qualitative Study, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2011 ; 5(2):32-42.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 5 (2); 32-42
Published Online: December 31, 2011
Article Type: Original Article
Received: April 09, 2011
Accepted: June 13, 2011

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Abstract

Objective: There is evidence to show an increase in use of stimulant substances among university students. This study is a qualitative assessment of the existing situation and the underlying reasons for stimulant use among the students of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2006.

Methods: Three qualitative methods have been used: focus group discussions with 7 groups (60 individuals) consisting of male and female students in the dormitories and in the university environment, in-depth interview with 20 drug user students, and interview with 20 key informants including counselors, managers and guards of dormitories, staff of the office for Culture and Welfare Affairs of students and members of students' organizations. Purposeful or opportunistic method was used for sampling.

Results: Ecstasy and methylphenidate (Ritalin) were mentioned as the stimulants used by the students. The main declared reasons for ecstasy use were desire to have fun and excitement, desire to modernity, participation in parties, curiosity and living without family. The high expense of ecstasy pills and the training provided by media were mentioned as the main protective factors. Most respondents believed that use of methylphenidate was more prevalent than ecstasy use. In contrary to the drugs used for fun and enjoyment, methylphenidate is used for increasing learning abilities and academic achievement. Other pointed- out factors were ease of use and being stigma-free.

Conclusion Increasing risk perception via training, social alternatives to risky activities and parental training for continuing care and advice in the college period are recommended.

Declaration of Interest: None.

Citation: Rahimi-Movaghar A, Khastoo G, Moinolghorabaei M, Yunesian M, Sadeghi AR. Use of stimulant substances among university students in Tehran; a qualitative study. Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci 2011; 5(2): 32-42

Keywords

Ecstasy Iran Methylphenidate Stimulants University Students

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