RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
Stimulant medication use, misuse, and abuse in an undergraduate and graduate student sample.
In this study, the authors investigated the characteristics of use, misuse, and abuse of stimulant medication (primarily methylphenidate and variants) among students at a northeastern US university. Researchers sent an invitation to take an Internet survey to student e-mail addresses and passed 150 paper surveys in undergraduate classes, analyzing 1,025 (975 electronically) returned surveys. Sixteen percent of respondents reported abusing or misusing stimulant medication. Ninety-six percent of respondents who specified a medication preferred to abuse or misuse Ritalin. Men and women reported similar use patterns. Most respondents who abused or misused stimulant medication swallowed pills; 40% used intranasally. Reasons for abusing or misusing stimulant medication included improving attention, partying, reducing hyperactivity, and improving grades. Consistent with previous studies, results suggest that abuse of stimulant medication is a concern on college campuses. The results point to various reasons for and methods of abusing and misusing stimulant medication that may direct future research, prevention, and intervention.
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