The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants among dental and dental hygiene students. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to determine the nonmedical use of prescription attention deficit disorder (ADD) stimulant medication among dental and dental hygiene students. A questionnaire was used to examine demographic information, student experiences, and perceptions of prescription stimulant medication and to determine if students used a prescription stimulant nonmedically. In 2008, 401 surveys were mailed to dental education institutions in the south-central region of the United States, and 243 surveys (61 percent) were returned. The survey found that 12.4 percent of these students used a prescription stimulant nonmedically and, of those, 70 percent took it to improve attention and/or concentration. The most commonly reported stimulant medication used nonmedically was Adderall (77 percent). The majority (87 percent) of the students obtained the medication through friends, and 90 percent began using the drug in college. Even though 74 percent of the students reported being stressed, chi-square analysis found no significant association between nonmedical use of ADD stimulant medication and stress level (p=0.585). Sixteen percent of the students surveyed felt it was easy to obtain stimulant medication for nonmedical use at their school, and 17 percent thought it was a problem within their institution. These results may help administrators and faculty members become aware of potential problems with the misuse of ADD stimulant medication.

published proceedings

  • J Dent Educ

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • McNiel, A. D., Muzzin, K. B., DeWald, J. P., McCann, A. L., Schneiderman, E. D., Scofield, J., & Campbell, P. R

citation count

  • 49

complete list of authors

  • McNiel, Amanda D||Muzzin, Kathleen B||DeWald, Janice P||McCann, Ann L||Schneiderman, Emet D||Scofield, JoAnn||Campbell, Patricia R

publication date

  • March 2011