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

Beth Han, MD, PhD, MPH; Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, MPH; Carlos Blanco, MD, PhD; and Wilson M. Compton, MD, MPE

Published: October 17, 2017

Article Abstract

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.

Volume: 78

Quick Links: Psychiatry

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