Study Drugs on Campus

published by hiro.kusumoto

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Comparative Use by Full-time Students
Use by Gender
34% of participants used ADHD stimulants illegally (DeSantis et al. 2010)
Men reported more use illicit use of amphetamines than women (t=4.4 (148), p<0.001) (Low & Gendaszek 2010)
Most students reported using stimulants to improve cognition and efficiency across all studies
Prescription amphetamine classification: Schedule II "Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence."  (DEA Website)
"Study Drugs"on College Campuses
About 50% of students will have been offered the opportunity to abuse a prescription drug by sophomore year (Arria et al. 2008)
Full-time students were twice as likely to have illegally used Adderall vs. their counterparts in the same age group (6.4% vs. 3.0% in 18-22 year olds) (2009 NSDUH Report on full-time college students)
Illicit Stimulant Use by Class
Data From McCabe et al. (2006)
-Chart represents past year illicit stimulant users by class standing -Survey was self administered by random sample of 9,161 students
Illicit Stimulant Users Information
-N=458 -78.2% White, 1.5% Black, 7.9% Asian, 5.9% Hispanic, 6.6% Other
Student Attitudes Towards Illicit Stimulant Use
"It helps me stay focused and be more efficient, which is very helpful with the chaos of college."
"I would never use study drugs but I know a lot of my peers do. When I do well I am proud of myself for not having to resort to their methods."
"Studying is only going to get harder in medical school so I 'm worried if I start taking Adderall I won't be able to study without it for the next four years."
"The fact that it's illegal really doesn't cross my mind. It's not something that I get nervous about because it's so widespread and simple."
Anonymous senior year student at a private southeastern research insitution
Anonymous senior year student at a private southeastern research insitution
“Sometimes, when I’m drinking, I get tired more easy [sic]. Or, if I’m already tired, I’ll take it, so I can stay up longer and drink.”
"It's sort of annoying because they don't actually need it. It also delegitimizes people's experiences who do have ADHD."
Kim Hill, Northwestern University
Health Risks
Loss of Appetite/Abdominal Pain
Cardiovascular Events
Common side effects of stimulant use include: -Anorexia and abdominal pain -Nausea -Insomnia -Mood swings Taken at higher doses stimulants can cause serious health effects including: -Seizures -Psychosis -Hypertension -Tachycardia
Lakhan & Kirchgessner (2012)
Potential University Actions
Banning the use of prescription drugs to boost academic performance (Duke, Wesleyan)
Mandated counseling for students caught illegally taking study drugs
Revised ADHD medication diagnosis/prescription protocols (U of Oregon)
Educational/Time management coaching programs (Miami U)
Limiting the number of pills prescribed (Sen. Schumer proposal)
Works Cited
Arria, A. M., Caldeira, K. M., Vincent, K. B., O’Grady, K. E., & Wish, E. D. (2008). Perceived harmfulness predicts nonmedical use of prescription drugs among college students: interactions with sensation-seeking. Prevention Science, 9(3), 191-201. DeSantis, A. D., Webb, E. M., & Noar, S. M. (2008). Illicit use of prescription ADHD medications on a college campus: a multimethodological approach.Journal of American college health, 57(3), 315-324. Lakhan, S. E., & Kirchgessner, A. (2012). Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects. Brain and Behavior, 2(5), 661–677. doi:10.1002/brb3.78 Low, K. G., & Gendaszek, A. E. (2002). Illicit use of psychostimulants among college students: a preliminary study. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 7(3), 283-287. McCabe, S. E., Teter, C. J., & Boyd, C. J. (2006). Medical Use, Illicit Use and Diversion of Prescription Stimulant Medication. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs,38(1), 43–56. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (April 7, 2009). The NSDUH Report: Nonmedical Use of Adderall® among Full-Time College Students. Rockville, MD.
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A PROJECT BY: Hirofumi Kusumoto