Nonmedical prescription stimulant use among college students: why we need to do something and what we need to do

J Addict Dis. 2010 Oct;29(4):417-26. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2010.509273.


This article summarizes recent research findings on nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and outlines a multi-pronged strategic approach for responding to this unique problem among college students. Students, health professionals, parents, the pharmaceutical industry, and institutions of higher education all play roles in this response. Moreover, the academic community should view the translation of research findings as an important responsibility that can help dispel the myths often perpetuated in the media. The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants is a complex behavior and should be viewed in the larger context of alcohol and drug involvement among young adults. Strategies to reduce nonmedical use of prescription stimulants might have direct application to the abuse of other prescription drugs, including opiates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects*
  • Communication
  • Consumer Health Information
  • Drug Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Prescription Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Professional Role
  • Self Medication / adverse effects
  • Self Medication / trends*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Universities


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Prescription Drugs