Motives and Perceived Consequences of Nonmedical ADHD Medication Use by College Students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Arthur D. Anastopoulos, Professor and Director of ADHD Clinic (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Objective: This study examines why college students without a prescription take ADHD medication, what they perceive the consequences of this to be, and whether attention problems are associated with this behavior. Method: More than 3,400 undergraduates attending one public and one private university in the southeastern United States completed a Web-based survey. Results: Nonmedical ADHD medication use in the prior 6 months was reported by 5.4% of respondents and was positively associated with self-reported attention difficulties. Enhancing the ability to study was the most frequent motive reported; nonacademic motives were less common. Students perceived nonmedical use to be beneficial despite frequent reports of adverse reactions. Conclusion: Students without prescriptions use ADHD medication primarily to enhance academic performance and may do so to ameliorate attention problems that they experience as undermining their academic success. The academic, social, and biomedical consequences of illicit ADHD medication use among college students should be researched further. (J. of Att. Dis. 2009; 13(3) 259-270)

Additional Information

Journal of Attention Disorders, 13(3), 259-270.
Language: English
Date: 2008
attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), college students, methylphenidate, motives, prescription stimulants, prescription drug abuse

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