College Undergraduate Ritalin Abusers in Southwestern California: Protective and Risk Factors

By Shillington, Audrey M.; Reed, Mark B. et al. | Journal of Drug Issues, Fall 2006 | Go to article overview

College Undergraduate Ritalin Abusers in Southwestern California: Protective and Risk Factors


Shillington, Audrey M., Reed, Mark B., Lange, James E., Clapp, John D., Henry, Susan, Journal of Drug Issues


During the past five years, a few studies have reported that college students are using stimulants such as Ritalin without a prescription. To date, studies on college Ritalin/Adderall use have been from samples in the eastern or midwestern U.S. This study was designed to examine risk and protective factors associated with Ritalin/Adderall use among a college sample in Southern California. Our findings indicate that 11.2% of students reported past year and over 4% reported past 30 day use of Ritalin/Adderall. In our final analysis, students with lower GPAs, in a fraternity/sorority, not in a committed relationship, and who smoke and use other drugs were more likely to report past year and past 30 day Ritalin/Adderall use. Implications for prevention programming of these findings are discussed.

BACKGROUND

College years have historically been marked by the use of alcohol and heavy drinking behaviors. Alcohol and other drug use are among the top threats to college student health and a leading cause of death in the U.S. (Hingson, Heeren, Zakocs, Kopstein, & Wechsler, 2002). Alcohol consumption is highly prevalent among college students as documented through several national population based studies. In addition to heavy alcohol use, during the past five years data have revealed that college students are using prescription drugs such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall (mixed-salts amphetamine), and Dexedrine (D-amphetamine). These drugs are primarily prescribed to treat attention déficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The most recent estimates, based upon the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2005) indicate 4.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 have a history of ADHD diagnosis with a national prevalence rate of 7.8%. Of those with a diagnosis, 2.5 million (56%) report taking medication for the disorder resulting in a medication rate with a mean of 4.3% ranging from 0.3% to 9.3% (CDC, 2005). Although Adderall is more potent than Ritalin, they both have been found effective in treating ADHD (Pelham et al., 1999). However, as of the late 1990s, 90% of stimulant use for the treatment of ADHD in the U.S. is methylphenidate (Goldman, Genel, Bezman, & Slantez, 1998). Methylphenidate is classified as a Schedule II substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and is considered it to have a high potential for abuse and psychological dependence (Woodworm, 2000).

In 2003,36% of college students reported past year use of an illicit drug; however, this prevalence rate drops to about 18% of college students using any illicit substance when marijuana is excluded (Johnston, O'Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2004). Published studies indicate that there has been an increase in popularity of the use of Ritalin among college students. The national Monitoring the Future study has collected the annual prevalence of Ritalin use only since 2002. For the two years of data published for 2002 and 2003, between 4.7% and 5.7% of college students have reported past year Ritalin use (Johnston et al., 2004). Table 1 summarizes this research. This table presents the populations, parts of the country, sample and sample size, response rates, and AOD use rates reported. As shown in Table 1, most studies report rates of Ritalin use among college students that are similar to those obtained in the 2003 Monitoring the Future report. For example Teter and colleagues (2005) reported that 8.1% of college undergraduate students reported illicit use of prescription stimulants during their lifetime, and 5.4% reported such use during the past year. Higher rates have been reported by Low and Gendaszek(2002), with 10.3% of college undergraduates surveyed reporting use without a prescription of either Ritalin or Adderall and another 24.0% reporting the use of both substances.

In addition to surveys conducted at individual undergraduate colleges (as seen in Table 1), a national college survey of four-year institutions showed that 6. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

College Undergraduate Ritalin Abusers in Southwestern California: Protective and Risk Factors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.