Online Program

Use of prescription stimulants among a sample of college students: Examining differences between student athletes and non-athletes

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ryan J. Martin, Ph.D., Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Andrew Gallucci, Ph.D., Department of Health, Human Performance, & Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Background: Prescription stimulants are commonly misused among the college student population because of their ability increase attention and wakefulness.  Stimulant medications also have the ability to improve athletic performance.  However, the prevalence and motivations associated with the misuse of prescription stimulants (MPS) among collegiate athletes has not been examined.  The purpose of our study was to examine whether there are differences in the MPS and MPS-related motivations between college student athletes and college student non-athletes.

Methods:Our sample included 682 college students (200 student athletes; 482 student non-athletes) between the ages of 18 and 25 enrolled at a large, private university in the US.  To assess MPS and MPS-related motivations, respondents completed a paper and pencil questionnaire.

Results:Almost 14% (7.5% student athletes; 16.6% student non-athletes) of the sample reported past-year MPS; however, student athletes were 48.3% less likely to engage in MPS.  Concerning MPS-related motivations, both athletes and non-athletes most often reported a desire to concentrate better while studying as the reason for the behavior; however, a larger proportion of student athletes were motivated to use stimulants to improve their athlete performance.

Conclusions: Past-year MPS use and motivations varied between student athletes and student non-athletes. Programs aimed at the reducing these behaviors should considering tailoring their programs to correspond with these differences.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Explain the differences in MPS use between college students and college student athletes. Describe the differences in MPS-related motivations between college students and college student athletes

Keyword(s): Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied addictions for over 10 years. My work has led to 20+ peer-reviewed publications and numerous professional presentations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.