Prevalence of hazardous alcohol use among pharmacy students at nine U.S. schools of pharmacy

  • Clayton D. English
  • Jose A. Rey
  • Lauren S. Schlesselman


Hazardous use of alcohol continues to be recognized as a problem at the university level. Knowledge regarding alcohol consumption in healthcare professional students is limited, especially in regards to pharmacy students. Much of the information available focuses on pharmacy student drinking patterns in specific geographic regions or is simply outdated.

Objectives: This study was designed to assess levels of alcohol consumption and estimate the level of hazardous drinking among pharmacy students in a larger sample size that is representative of US pharmacy schools.

Methods: An anonymous survey regarding alcohol usage was offered to students at nine schools of pharmacy across the United States. The survey consisted of demographic questions, the World Health Organization Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and questions that assess particular alcohol-induced behaviors.

Results: More than 25% of 1161 respondents had a total AUDIT score ≥ 8, which indicates a risk of alcohol-related problems. Students that were male, in their first or second professional year of school, not married, and without children were statistically more likely to have AUDIT scores in the hazardous drinking range. Grade point average and student housing did not statistically affect student’s AUDIT scores.

Conclusion: These results indicate that over one-fourth of pharmacy students surveyed have indicators of harmful alcohol use. Pharmacy schools should continue to address and confront hazardous alcohol use on campuses in order to curtail heavy alcohol consumption and reduce the risk of alcohol-related problems in pharmacy students.


Keywords: Alcohol Drinking. Students, Pharmacy. United States.


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How to Cite
English CD, Rey JA, Schlesselman LS. Prevalence of hazardous alcohol use among pharmacy students at nine U.S. schools of pharmacy. Pharm Pract (Granada) [Internet]. 2011Sep.14 [cited 2019Jun.16];9(3):162-8. Available from:
Original Research