Objective: A primary motive for adolescents and young adults to nonmedically use prescription stimulants is to help them study. Adolescents and young adults are using prescription stimulants, such as Adderall (amphetamine aspartate, amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharate, dextroamphetamine sulfate), as performance enhancers in certain social domains, including academics and sports. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the nonmedical use of Adderall (a commonly prescribed stimulant used nonmedically) among adolescents who participate in competitive sports.
Method: The Monitoring the Future survey for 2010 and 2011, a representative sample of 8th- and 10th-grade students, surveyed involvement in competitive sports and nonmedical Adderall use among 21,137 adolescents. Past-year nonmedical use of Adderall served as the main outcome measure. Logistic regression analyses were run to examine whether sports participation in general and involvement in different types of competitive sports participation were associated with past-year nonmedical use of Adderall among males and females.
Results: The odds of past-year nonmedical use of Adderall among males were higher for male respondents who participated in lacrosse (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.52, 95% CI [1.20, 5.29]) and wrestling (AOR = 1.74, 95% CI [1.01, 2.98]). However, no particular sport among females was found to be associated with past-year nonmedical use of Adderall.
Conclusions: Certain extracurricular activities, such as high-contact sports, may influence male participants to misuse prescription stimulants as performance enhancers either on or off the playing field.