College Students Illegally Use ADHD Drugs, Study Says

Ninety percent who take drugs without prescription use them as a study aid.

By + More

In a Duke study of undergraduates, 5 percent of respondents said they had used an ADHD medication like Ritalin, Adderall, or Concerta without a prescription in the past six months; 90 percent of those respondents said they used the drug to help them study, as opposed to nonacademic uses like "to get high."

Seventy percent of those who used the drug to study found it effective, despite nearly a quarter experiencing side effects like loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping. Inside Higher Ed adds, "Those who use ADHD drugs without prescriptions are more likely than students as a whole to be white, belong to a fraternity or sorority, have lower grade-point averages, and engage in illegal substance use and other risky behaviors."

Results of the web-based survey of 3,407 students from University of North Carolina-Greensboro and Duke were published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.