National Trends in and Correlates of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants, Nonmedical Use Frequency, and Use Disorders

Objective: To examine national trends in and correlates of nonmedical use of prescription stimulants, nonmedical use frequency, and use disorders among individuals aged 12–64 years.

Methods: Data from 783,400 persons aged 12–64 who participated in the 2003–2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Descriptive analyses and bivariable and multivariable logistic regression and zero-truncated negative binomial regression models were applied.

Results: Our multivariable results show that among individuals aged 12–64, the national prevalence of nonmedical use of prescription stimulants in 2003–2004 was higher than in 2007–2008 and was similar to that in 2009–2011, but was lower than in 2013–2014. Among those who used prescription stimulants nonmedically, the frequency of nonmedical use of prescription stimulants in 2003–2004 was lower than that in 2005–2006 and was similar to that in 2007–2014, and the prevalence of prescription stimulant use disorders in 2003–2004 was higher than that in 2005–2010, but was similar to that in 2011–2014. Among nonmedical prescription stimulant users aged 12–64 in 2013–2014, 53.2% reported that their source of stimulants used nonmedically last time was from relatives/friends for free. Our study also identified correlates of prescription stimulant nonmedical use, use frequency, and use disorders. Co-occurring substance use disorders are common among those with prescription stimulant nonmedical use problems.

Conclusions: Among individuals aged 12–64 in the United States, after adjusting for covariates, the prevalence of nonmedical use of prescription stimulants in 2013–2014 was higher than that in 2003–2004. The results of this study help inform and target efforts to reduce prescription stimulant nonmedical use, use frequency, and use disorders.

J Clin Psychiatry 2017;78(9):e1250–e1258

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.17m11760