College students’ experiences with substance use at electronic music events: A qualitative study

Ashley Falcon, Valerie A. Halstead, Brian E. McCabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To understand college students’ experiences with substance use at electronic music events (EME), including harm-reduction strategies and receptivity to educational intervention. Participants: A purposeful sample of undergraduate students at a private Southeastern university was recruited from April 2019 to May 2019 using online advertising and in-person tabling. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive research design utilizing semistructured focus groups. Results: Five focus groups were conducted (n = 18). A thematic analysis revealed three main themes: substance use is commonplace; substance use and protective behaviors; and universities' role in substance education. Additional categories and subcategories were identified within each theme. Conclusion: Substance use at EME is a common experience for college students. Several challenges and opportunities exist for universities working to promote harm reduction practices. Prevention efforts should be event-specific, incorporate student input to engage learning more effectively, and work to reduce barriers that deter students from taking safety precautions when using substances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of American College Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • College
  • electronic music events
  • harm reduction
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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