The relative impact of statistical and anecdotal evidence in the evaluation of the risk of using emerging drugs of abuse

Kevin Michael Gutierrez, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The recreational use of "emerging drugs" of abuse (e.g., Spice, "bath salts") is a growing problem that has taken root in the United States and is increasingly recognized as a public health concern (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2012). However, there is a gap in knowledge regarding the level of risk that individuals associate with the use of these substances. In addition, there is a critical knowledge gap regarding how young adults utilize anecdotal and statistical information when evaluating the risk of using emerging drugs. The present study addresses these gaps in knowledge in two specific aims. First, the present study investigates the perceived level of harm that young adults associate with the use of novel drugs. Second, the present study investigates how young people evaluate the risks associated with the use of novel drugs when they are given both statistical information about the risks associated with the use of novel drugs and anecdotal reports describing positive and negative drug experiences with using novel drugs. The present study has implications for identifying strategies that improve risk communication about the dangers of using emerging drugs of abuse.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Gutierrez, Kevin Michael, "The relative impact of statistical and anecdotal evidence in the evaluation of the risk of using emerging drugs of abuse" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3626062.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3626062

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