Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Major Professor

Steven N. Waller

Committee Members

James H. Bemiller, Robin L. Hardin, Gary J. Skolits, Shawn L. Spurgeon


This study examined prescription drug use at a small Division III college in the Southeast. Prescription drug use and misuse is a documented trend among college students. Medication therapy due to injuries is a common means of rehabilitation in sports. Because of this, there have been recent incidences documented in which student-athletes have become victims of accidental drug overdoses, and in some cases, have resulted in their death. In this study, areas examined were the awareness of the culture of prescription drug use among student-athletes, personal use of prescription drugs among student-athletes, and personal knowledge and awareness about prescription drug use among student-athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine whether student-athletes are educated about the high risk of addiction related to prescription drug abuse. The second purpose was to examine if student-athletes are aware of the potential health risks involved with combining mood-altering substances with prescription drugs. The third purpose was to examine whether stakeholders are aware of the standard care owed to student-athletes. The fourth purpose was to examine if prevention measures are in place to combat the potential for prescription drug misuse. The methods used in this study included an e-questionnaire that was administered to 100 student-athletes (75.0% response rate); ‘elite interviews’ with athletic department staff and the review of (N=2); and document reviews (N=3); and the key findings from this study included: 1) athletic department staff agreed that more prescription drug education and prevention could benefit student-athletes; and 2) differences in the level of awareness, and culture of prescription drug use among student-athletes.

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