To examine the prevalence rates and correlates
of non-medical use of prescription stimulants
(Ritalin, Dexedrine or Adderall) among US college
students in terms of student and college characteristics.
A self-administered mail survey.
One hundred and nineteen nationally representative
4-year colleges in the United States.
A representative sample of 10 904 randomly selected
college students in 2001.
Self-reports of non-medical use of prescription
stimulants and other substance use behaviors.
The life-time prevalence of non-medical prescription
stimulant use was 6.9%, past year prevalence was
4.1% and past month prevalence was 2.1%. Past
year rates of non-medical use ranged from zero
to 25% at individual colleges. Multivariate regression
analyses indicated non-medical use was higher
among college students who were male, white, members
of fraternities and sororities and earned lower
grade point averages. Rates were higher at colleges
located in the north-eastern region of the US
and colleges with more competitive admission standards.
Non-medical prescription stimulant users were
more likely to report use of alcohol, cigarettes,
marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and other risky behaviors.
The findings of the present study provide evidence
that nonmedical use of prescription stimulants
is more prevalent among particular subgroups of
US college students and types of colleges. The
non-medical use of prescription stimulants represents
a high-risk behavior that should be monitored
further and intervention efforts are needed to
curb this form of drug use.