Home > Non-medical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance among Australian university students: prevalence and correlates of use.

Lucke, Jayne and Jensen, Charmaine and Dunn, Matthew and Chan, Gary and Forlini, Cynthia and Kaye, Sharlene and Partridge, Bradley and Farrell, Michael and Racine, Eric and Hall, Wayne [Biomed Central] . (2018) Non-medical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance among Australian university students: prevalence and correlates of use. BMC Public Health, 18 (1)

URL: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles...

BACKGROUND: Some university students consume pharmaceutical stimulants without a medical prescription with the goal of improving their academic performance. The prevalence of this practice has been well documented in the US, but less so in other countries. The potential harms of using prescription stimulants require a better understanding of the prevalence of this practice within Australian universities.

METHODS: An internet survey of 1136 Australian students was conducted in 2015 in three large Australian universities. Students were asked about their personal use of prescription stimulants, attitudes and experiences with prescription stimulants. They were also asked about their use of caffeine, energy drinks and illicit drugs to enhance their academic performance.

RESULTS: Lifetime self-reported use of stimulant medication to improve academic performance was 6.5, and 4.4% in the past year. Students were far more likely to report using coffee and energy drinks (41.4 and 23.6% respectively, lifetime use) than prescription stimulants to help them study and complete university assessments. Non-medical use of prescription stimulants was strongly associated with a history of illicit drug use.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of nonmedical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance is low among university students in Australia, especially when compared with their use of coffee and energy drinks.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:CNS stimulants, Prescription/Over the counter
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:Biomed Central
Date:19 November 2018
Page Range:p. 1270
Volume:18
Number:1
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > CNS stimulants
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Prescription drug (medicine / medication)
N Communication, information and education > Education and training > Educational institution > Higher education institution (college / university)
T Demographic characteristics > Undergraduate or graduate student
VA Geographic area > Australia and Oceania > Australia

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