Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Goulding, E., Murphy, M. & Di Blasi, Z.;
Irish Journal of Medical Science
Sharing and borrowing prescription medication: a survey of Irish college students
Optional Fields

Background: Prescription medicine borrowing and sharing has received little attention in

the research literature, despite serious potential health risks. While this behaviour is

prevalent across all ages, it appears to be particularly high among young adults.

Aims: To determine the prevalence and the characteristics of sharing and borrowing

medicines among students in an Irish University.

Method: Web survey of University College Cork 18-25 year old undergraduates.

Results: A total of 343 completed the questionnaire. A quarter (26%) reported borrowing,

20% reported sharing and 12% reported both sharing and borrowing prescription drugs,

primarily to avoid the cost (37%), the inconvenience of going to a doctor (22%) and not

feeling sick enough to see a medical professional (14%). Participants borrowed medicines

from family (51.2%) and friends (18.2%). Those who borrowed or shared prescription

drugs believed they were at a lesser risk of side effects from taking other people's

medicines (p<.0005 χ2 test).

Conclusion: Sharing and borrowing prescription drugs appears to be a common practice

among Irish college students who may underestimate the risks associated with taking

these medicines.
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