Nonmedical prescription stimulant use among a sample of college students: Relationship with psychological variables

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Objective: To further investigate use and potential misuse of prescription stimulants (e.g., Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta) among a sample of college students and to explore the relationship between psychological variables and nonmedical stimulant use. Method: The sample consisted of 390 college students (71.6% female, 28.4% male). Participants were asked to complete five questionnaires concerning demographic information, prescription stimulant use, internal restlessness, sensation seeking, and psychological distress. Results: The study findings revealed that, regarding nonprescribed stimulants, 7.5% reported use within the past 30 days; 60% reported knowing students who misused stimulants; and 50% agreed or strongly agreed that prescription stimulants were "easy to get on this campus." Findings further revealed a relationship between stimulant use and degree of psychological distress and internal restlessness. Conclusions: Continued research regarding psychological variables, specific group membership (e.g., fraternity, sorority, athletics), and stimulant acquisition is suggested. Effective prevention and education efforts are needed to help address the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants on college campuses. (J. of Att. Dis. 2009; 13(3) 284-296). © 2009 SAGE Publications.

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Journal of Attention Disorders