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Many College Students Believe Stimulants Can Boost Grades

MONDAY, Oct. 16, 2017 -- More than one-quarter of college students report believing that nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NPS) can improve academic performance, according to a study published in the January 2018 issue of Addictive Behaviors.

Amelia M. Arria, Ph.D., from the University of Maryland in College Park, and colleagues conducted an online survey among 6,962 demographically diverse students from nine U.S. colleges and universities in the 2015-1016 academic year to document the prevalence of perceived academic benefit of NPS for improving grades and to examine the association between such beliefs and NPS.

The researchers found that overall, 28.6 percent agreed or strongly agreed that NPS could help students earn higher grades, while an additional 38 percent were unsure. After adjustment for other covariates, students with a higher level of perceived academic benefit of NPS and more frequent patterns of drinking and marijuana use were more likely to engage in NPS.

"The results underscore the need for interventions that simultaneously correct misperceptions related to academic benefit and target alcohol and marijuana use to reduce NPS," conclude the authors.

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Posted: October 2017