, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 220-223
Date: 04 Jan 2014

Prevalence of ADHD Diagnosis and Nonmedical Prescription Stimulant Use in Medical Students

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Abstract

Objective

The authors aimed to determine the prevalence of ADHD diagnosis and the prevalence of nonmedical prescription stimulant use among a sample of medical students.

Methods

An anonymous survey was administered to 388 medical students (84.0% return rate) across all 4 years of education at a public medical college.

Results

Eighteen medical students (5.5%) reported being diagnosed with ADHD and 72.2% of those students were diagnosed after the age of 18. Thirty-three medical students (10.1%) reported using prescription stimulants for nonmedical purposes during their lifetime. The most commonly reported motivation for nonmedical prescription stimulant use was to improve academic performance. There was no significant correlation between an ADHD diagnosis and a history of nonmedical prescription stimulant use (p = 0.072).

Conclusion

This survey suggests that medical students appear to be a relatively high-risk population for nonmedical prescription stimulant use.