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Sunday, 02.04.2023
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PHiE 2019, 100(2)

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Probl Hig Epidemiol 2019, 100(2): 110-114pl

Prevalence of the use of performance- and image-enhancing drugs (PIEDs) among students of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Medical University of Lodz

Maria Człapińska, Jadwiga Zalewska-Kaszubska

Zakład Farmakodynamiki, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi

Introduction. The use of performance- and image-enhancing drugs (PIEDs) is now a widespread social problem, especially among young people. Along with easier access to the Internet, the availability of these substances, most often from unlicensed sources, and often being counterfeits of original medicines, has also increased.
Aim. Assessment of the prevalence of PIED-taking among students of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Medical University of Lodz.
Material & methods. The study was conducted from April 11 to April 25, 2018 using an original questionnaire consisting of 17 multiple-choice questions. In addition, 7 questions included in the proposals incorporated the possibility to provide respondents´ own answers. The study involved 483 students of the Pharmaceutical Faculty.
Results. The research shows that students eagerly reach for PIEDs, mainly to improve mental performance, and the most commonly used drugs are: caffeine, energy drinks and herbal preparations. However, the vast majority of students do not support the use of PIEDs to improve appearance or physical fitness. Almost half of the students take supportive substances despite the occurrence of side effects.
Conclusion. The studies carried out indicate a great need to make young people aware of the risks associated with taking PIEDs. The large number of PIEDs used by respondents indicates the need for further research to find out the real scale of the problem.

Key words:  performance- and image-enhancing drugs, PIEDs, students of medical faculties