Assessing Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants Using an iPhone Application
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The use of prescription stimulants has escalated in the past decade for both medical and nonmedical purposes and is increasingly problematic as evidenced by a drastic increase in hospitalizations. Studies have found conflicting evidence about how sociodemographic characteristics influence nonmedical prescription stimulant use. This study uses baseline questionnaires and ecological momentary assessment to evaluate characteristics associated with being a nonmedical prescription stimulant user, and sociodemographic characteristics associated with frequency of nonmedical prescription stimulant use. Finally, this study examines academic self-efficacy and stress in the moment to evaluate if these factors are psychological precipitants of the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants. Gender and involvement with Greek fraternities and sororities were not associated with likelihood to nonmedically use a prescription stimulant or frequency of nonmedical use. Grade point average was associated with a greater likelihood of being a nonmedical prescription stimulant user but not with frequency of use. Stress and academic confidence were significantly associated with the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants in the moment supporting the theory that prescription stimulants are used instrumentally to help users alleviate stress and increase academic confidence. Further research should explore these and other psychological precipitants of nonmedical prescription use to provide targets for prevention and treatment especially among college students.