Date of Award

5-1-2013

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Tammy Greer, Ph.D.

Abstract

Since the release of Adderall in the late 1990s for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, rates of use by those without a prescription have been steadily increasing among college students. This can be partially attributed to the fact that the numbers of individuals diagnosed with ADHD as well as those who are prescribed psychostimulants for the disorder are approximately four million and 2.5 million, respectively; thus leading to increased availability (DeSantis, Webb, Noar, 2008). Moreover, it is estimated that Ritalin prescriptions increased by approximately 250% between 1990 and 1995 (Babcock and Byrne, 2000; Safer and Zito, 1996, 98). Though this study concerns the unauthorized usage of Adderall, it is still of interest to note the trends immediately before the release of Adderall. Consequently, the prevalence of psychostimulants such as Adderall has increased among those with and without prescriptions. For individuals suffering from ADHD, psychostimulants such as Adderall allow them to focus attention easier with respect to completing school work and generally staying on task. However, for those who do not suffer from ADHD, Adderall induces an ‘enhanced’ mental state. Consequently, college students have begun to take advantage of this potential for increased productivity. However, the biological implications associated with this non-authorized use have lead to public health concerns. The purpose of this study was to attain data pertaining to the attitudes and perceptions regarding non-authorized Adderall usage among students at the University of Southern Mississippi. This study also aimed to attain data relating to the prevalence rates of non-authorized Adderall usage among USM students. All data were gathered using an online questionnaire.

Available for download on Tuesday, March 02, 2219

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