Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Nursing (BSN)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Melissa Garno


Some previous studies have shown that college students abuse ADHD prescription stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, or Dexedrine. This research attempts to highlight how often college students use these prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes, how they acquire these prescription drugs, and for what intended purposes they are taking them. This information is gathered through an anonymous Qualtrics survey which was sent out to 200 undergraduate college students enrolled in nursing school at a public research university in a small rural town. A completed survey was received from 45 students. Out of these students, 22.2% are diagnosed with ADHD or ADD and are prescribed medications to help with their symptoms. Out of these students, 100% of them have been asked by someone else for their prescription medications. Additionally, 11.1% of students admit to taking ADHD prescription stimulants without a prescription themselves, and 55.6% of students know other nursing students who take them for non-medical purposes. These students report wanting to focus better on their schoolwork, be more productive studying, and using it to stay awake for longer periods of time as their main reasons for taking these medications without a prescription. This is a significant issue because of the negative health effects these stimulants can have. There needs to be better screening and education to avoid this abuse in college students.