Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Lawrence D. Cohn

Second Advisor

Theodore V. Cooper


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.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

162 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Kevin Michael Gutierrez

Included in

Psychology Commons