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Research Proposal
Megha Sevalia
Independent Research I G/T
Title: Controllable or Not?: Factors Contributing to Medicinal Misuse
Introduction and Overview of Research:
The overlying area of research for this project will be of factors contributing to medicinal
misuse, including details of internal injuries that result from it and preventive measures that can
be taken. The research will determine if heritable factors or environmental factors are more
significant in the formation of medicinal misuse through correlational research using data
collected from surveys and meta-analysis. The final product will help raise awareness about the
reality of this issue and how to prevent it to a teenage and young adult audience with the creation
of a board, presentation, and flier/ pamphlet.
Background and Rationale:
There is a broad focus on purposeful drug abuse, and the psychological problems
associated with its occurrence. However, much of the general population is unaware of an
occurrence where people become over-dependent on drugs prescribed or recommended for true
medical uses and end up using them wrongfully. A study describes that 9.5% of the United States
Population ages twelve and older have nonmedically used prescription drugs (Simon-Wastila).
Over the counter medicinal misuse and harder to trace and calculate but the ease of acquiring
these has shown a larger number of cases of overdose of these substances. A narrower view of
another study shows that over the counter/ prescription medicines as the primary drugs of abuse
to be 33.7% of all drug abuse cases (Myers). While not outrageously high, these statistics show
that medicinal misuse is a real and consequential problem in todays society with widespread
The most effective way to combat this issue is to explore various factors which contribute
to this issue forming. While the array of influences are indefinite, they can be categorized into
heritable and environmental factors. Heritable factors include gender, genetic predisposition,
family history, etc. and environmental factors consist of lifestyle influences such as family, work,
history of other addictions, etc. Both of these categories play monumental roles in the formation
of medicinal misuse patterns, and raising awareness of them can help people figure out if they
need to be careful or to catch onto behavior of others that correlates with an increased risk for
medicinal misuse and assist them.
This issue is important for a variety of reasons. For one, many serious health issues that
result from this could easily be prevented if the seemingly simple factors were eliminated. Due to
the nature of many of these mistakes being related to simple ignorance or confusion, the majority
of the people making the mistakes could easily be informed and persuaded to improve their ways
and prevent this. Others could become aware of what makes them personally susceptible to
medicine misuse and calculate the risk they may be at, leading to a more careful mentality when
dealing with drugs. Some of the most severe injuries that result from this require transplants, and
getting rid of that need could also help other patients with unfixable causes receive the organs. It
could also reduce unintentional drug addictions when the misuse becomes overuse and abuse.
Research Methodology:
Research Question:
Are heritable or environmental factors more prevalent in leading to medicine misuse and
corresponding serious internal injury?

Some elements that may become points of argument in the research paper are
Research Hypothesis:
Environmental factors more greatly influence the accidental misuse of common
medicines and subsequent internal injury.
In the research paper, evidence supporting the claim that lifestyle and surroundings play a
bigger role in the development of medicinal misuse will be used to argue this hypothesis. The
evidence will be collected from studies and data from people.
Research Design Model:
This project will utilize correlational research, a form of quantitative research where the
degree of the relationship between two variables is determined. This method was chosen because
it allows for the factors to be categorized and analyzed to draw a concrete conclusion. The degree
will be determined by calculating how many people prone to medicinal misuse have specific
factors out of a population and categorized at the end to see if heritable or environmental factors
are more important.
Data Collection
The data collection will occur through a mix of surveys and meta-analysis of previously
done research on this topic. This was chosen so the experimenter can attempt to find real data
through surveys but if it presents itself to be unreliable or unrealistic, then meta analysis can be
used to support the data. Essentially the surveys will ask a number of questions to determine if
the persons medicinal usage habits are considered risky, and also collect which factors apply to
Product Objectives:
The final product will consist of a flier/ pamphlet with information about preventive
measures and other things to consider before taking medicines. The purpose of this product is to
be placed in an easily accessible and visible place so people can recall information from the
presentation and apply it into their medicinal usage habits. This aspect of the project was
specifically chosen for the final product because as important as the research is, it is more
important that people gain awareness of the issue and work to prevent it from happening to them.
The targeted audience for this project is teenagers and young adults who are generally
preoccupied with other things and forget to pay attention to little things, which is one of the roots
of this problem. The outcomes will be communicated to an audience of teenagers and young
adults. The results are intended for the general public so the information might be displayed at a
psychologists office or as a resource that can be given from a specialist and help people. The
products will be communicated to the audience through a presentation and a display board,
accompanied by a full research paper for further information.
Logistical Considerations:
The resources that will be utilized for this project are human sources in the form of
interviews with professionals, and online sources through credible databases Some special
considerations of this project include materials required to create and design a display board and
paper/ printing facilities to create the final pamphlet/ flyer. The data collection will require the
permission of the G/T resource teacher and possible school administrators if information from
students is required. In third quarter, a timeline will be added that outlines the data collection,
product development, and audience distribution.

Student Signature

G/T Resource Teacher

Myers, B., Siegfried, N., & Parry, C. D. (n.d.). Over-the-counter and prescription medicine
misuse in Cape Town- findings from specialist treatment centres. Retrieved December 21,
2016, from
Simoli-Wastila, L., Ritter, G., & Strickler, G. (2004, January 29). Gender and other factors
associated with the nonmedical use of abusable prescription drugs. Retrieved December
7, 2016, from