Stimulant medication use, misuse, and abuse in an undergraduate and graduate student sample.

Academic Article


  • 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.
  • Authors

  • White, Barbara
  • Becker-Blease, Kathryn A
  • Grace-Bishop, Kathleen
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2006
  • Published In


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Drug and Narcotic Control
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate
  • New England
  • Students
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Universities
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16539218
  • Start Page

  • 261
  • End Page

  • 268
  • Volume

  • 54
  • Issue

  • 5