A new study adds to the growing body of research indicating that nonmedical use of prescription stimulants for students without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) likely provides no academic benefits.
Many students use prescription ADHD drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall in response to academic difficulties, thinking these drugs will help them improve their grades, according to the researchers from the College Life Study at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
Researchers analyzed nonmedical use of prescription stimulants among 898 students without ADHD during their second and third years of college.
In the journal Addictive Behaviors, the researchers write the study indicates nonmedical use of such drugs is not associated with improvement in GPA.
They conclude that college is an opportune time to change students’ misguided beliefs about the benefits of nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and raise awareness about its health and legal consequences.