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Non-Medical Use of Prescription Stimulants for Treatment of Attention Disorders by University Students: Characteristics and Associations

Liat Korn, Kineret Hassan, Nadya Fainshtein, Nizmit Yusov, Nitza Davidovitch

(Department of Health Systems Management, School of Health Sciences, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:3778-3787

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.913973

BACKGROUND: Non-medical use of prescription stimulants (NPS) for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), which are considered narcotic substances and medical drugs, are used to treat learning and attention disorders. The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between misuse of medications for treatment of ADHD and various characteristics and problem behaviors, such as impulsivity, deviant behavior, and drug use.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 1280 undergraduate students (64% females; mean age 27; SD=6) completed an anonymous, structured, self-report questionnaire on health, well-being, and health risk behaviors.
RESULTS: NPS for treatment of ADHD was significantly associated with cannabis AOR (adjusted odds ratio)=5.57, P<0.001, compared to non-users. Deviant behaviors were significantly more prevalent among students engaging in medical use of prescription stimulants for treatment of ADHD (P=0.01; 43.2% and misuse 51.1%) versus non-users (34.5%).
CONCLUSIONS: Social attention in needed and implementing of social policy to raise students’ awareness of the problems involved in misuse of medications for treatment of ADHD, to form intervention programs tailored for students, and to refer students for appropriate counseling and diagnosis.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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