Survey of alcohol and other drug use attitudes and behaviors in nursing students

Jeffrey N. Baldwin, Jean K. Bartek, David M. Scott, R. Ellen Davis-Hall, Edward M. Desimone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Statewide nursing student alcohol and other drug (AOD) use attitudes and behaviors were assessed. Response was 929/2017 (46%) (practical nursing [n = 173/301] 57.3%; diploma and associate degree in nursing [n = 282/417] 67.6%; bachelor of science in nursing [n = 474/1299] 36.5%). Nearly 44% reported inadequate substance abuse education. Past-year AOD use included tobacco 36.9%, marijuana 6.8%, sedatives 4.6%, and opioids 2.6%. Past-year AOD-related events included blackouts 19.8%, class/work under the influence 6.3%, patient care under the influence 3.9%, lowered grades/job evaluations 6.6%, and legal charges 3.6%. Heavy drinking was reported by 28.9%. Practical nursing (PN) students most often reported tobacco use and sedative use, whereas Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) students most often reported marijuana use. Family histories of alcohol-related problems and drug-related problems were reported, respectively, by 48.1% and 19.2% of respondents; 51.1% reported at least one of these. PN students most often reported such family histories. Nursing educational systems should proactively address student AOD prevention, education, and assistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-238
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Students
  • Surveys
  • Undergraduate nursing education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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