Non-medical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance among Australian university students: prevalence and correlates of use

Lucke, Jayne, Jensen, Charmaine, Dunn, Matthew, Chan, Gary, Forlini, Cynthia, Kaye, Sharlene, Partridge, Bradley, Farrell, Michael, Racine, Eric and Hall, Wayne 2018, Non-medical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance among Australian university students: prevalence and correlates of use, BMC public health, vol. 18, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-6212-0.

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Title Non-medical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance among Australian university students: prevalence and correlates of use
Author(s) Lucke, Jayne
Jensen, Charmaine
Dunn, MatthewORCID iD for Dunn, Matthew orcid.org/0000-0003-4615-5078
Chan, Gary
Forlini, Cynthia
Kaye, Sharlene
Partridge, Bradley
Farrell, Michael
Racine, Eric
Hall, Wayne
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 18
Article ID 1270
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-11-19
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) prescription stimulants
cognitive enhancement
academic performance
caffeine
university students
Australia
prevalence
correlates
science & technology
life sciences & biomedicine
public, environmental & occupational health
Summary BACKGROUND: Some university students consume pharmaceutical stimulants without a medical prescription with the goal of improving their academic performance. The prevalence of this practice has been well documented in the US, but less so in other countries. The potential harms of using prescription stimulants require a better understanding of the prevalence of this practice within Australian universities. METHODS: An internet survey of 1136 Australian students was conducted in 2015 in three large Australian universities. Students were asked about their personal use of prescription stimulants, attitudes and experiences with prescription stimulants. They were also asked about their use of caffeine, energy drinks and illicit drugs to enhance their academic performance. RESULTS: Lifetime self-reported use of stimulant medication to improve academic performance was 6.5, and 4.4% in the past year. Students were far more likely to report using coffee and energy drinks (41.4 and 23.6% respectively, lifetime use) than prescription stimulants to help them study and complete university assessments. Non-medical use of prescription stimulants was strongly associated with a history of illicit drug use. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of nonmedical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance is low among university students in Australia, especially when compared with their use of coffee and energy drinks.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12889-018-6212-0
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30115481

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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