Across North America, the abuse of ADHD medication on college campuses has become an increasingly prevalent problem, as students are becoming more acquainted with their potential as study aid. Previous research has revealed that students who use ADHD medication in college are significantly more likely to develop a dependence on alcohol and other drugs than those who have never taken ADHD medication. The purpose of this study is to assess whether there is a relationship between ADHD medication use and other psycho-substance use such as depressants and stimulants. This study has collected survey responses from 761 undergraduate students from various US colleges. The survey included self-reported dietary patterns, mental and physical health, ADHD medication use, and perceptions regarding illicit study drug use. The anonymous survey was built in Google forms, data was analyzed using Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient in SPSS, Version 26.0. Our data has indicated a significant positive correlation between illicit ADHD medication use with depressants and stimulants (caffeine) among college students. Our results support previous studies that described how a dysfunctional prefrontal cortex (PFC) is linked to impaired response inhibition and riskier decision making, such as the comorbid use of other stimulants and depressants. Thus, our results suggest that those who use ADHD medication may be inclined to abuse other substances as well. By addressing the abuse of study drugs on college campuses, we may hope to curtail the abuse of other prevalent substances among college populations.
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Scott, Nicole; Malik, Sana; Umeozor, Devon; and Burrows, Cassie, "The Association between ADHD Drug Misuse and Other Psycho-Substance Abuse" (2022). Research Days Posters 2022. 118.