CPAMM works to help prevent the misuse, abuse and diversion of prescription stimulant medication, with an initial focus on college students. In 2013, 9.3% of students in one large university study reported using a prescription stimulant for nonmedical use in the past year.1 College students primarily misuse believing it will result in academic gain, but as the issue persists, the reasons for misuse have expanded to include misusing prescription stimulants to party,2 lose weight,3 and even to improve athletic performance.4 Recognizing the prevalence of the issue, CPAMM stands as a leader by raising awareness of misuse and taking action through the development of programs, tools and tactics to help prevent misuse for any reason.

CPAMM works to help prevent the misuse, abuse and diversion of prescription stimulant medication, with an initial focus on college students. In 2013, 9.3% of students in one large university study reported using a prescription stimulant for nonmedical use in the past year.1 College students primarily misuse believing it will result in academic gain, but as the issue persists, the reasons for misuse have expanded to include misusing prescription stimulants to party,2 lose weight,3 and even to improve athletic performance.4 Recognizing the prevalence of the issue, CPAMM stands as a leader by raising awareness of misuse and taking action through the development of programs, tools and tactics to help prevent misuse for any reason.

The diverse organizations contributing to CPAMM bring a depth of knowledge to the misuse issue. CPAMM also serves as a resource for information by featuring and leading relevant research to better understand misuse drivers.

The following are key facts about prescription stimulant medication misuse, abuse and diversion that the public may not be aware of and that CPAMM uses to inform its efforts in preventing misuse.

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CPAMM Perspective

Hear from the partners about the perceptions of college students regarding the misuse, abuse and diversion of ADHD prescription stimulant medications and how they aim to help prevent this nonmedical use.

Hear from the partners about the perceptions of college students regarding the misuse, abuse and diversion of ADHD prescription stimulant medications and how they aim to help prevent this nonmedical use.

Gwen Fisher from Shire discusses the Coalition to Prevent ADHD Medication Misuse (CPAMM) and how it aims to help prevent nonmedical use of ADHD prescription stimulant medication among college students.

John MacPhee from JED highlights a new survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CPAMM to examine perceptions of college students regarding the misuse, abuse and diversion of ADHD prescription stimulant medications.

Stephanie Gordon from NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), a CPAMM partner, discusses survey findings around students’ perceptions of their college and university administrators’ attitudes towards the misuse, abuse and diversion of ADHD prescription stimulant medication.

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Academic Consequences

Students may be unaware that some universities consider ADHD prescription stimulant medication misuse cheating, which can lead to academic probation or expulsion. It may also come as a surprise to learn that many peers believe it’s cheating as well.5

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Medical & Developmental Consequences

All prescription stimulant medications come with potential side effects and should be used only as prescribed—under medical supervision. Only trained and licensed health care professionals should diagnose and evaluate individuals for ADHD.

Students who misuse prescription stimulant medication may be cheating themselves by not developing the coping, time management and study skills they need to live a healthy and productive life.

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Misperceptions of Misuse, Abuse & Diversion

There is a misperception among many students on college campuses that “everyone is doing it” and this makes prescription stimulant medication misuse okay.

For the college students who misuse prescription stimulant medication there may be significant consequences.

Prescription stimulants won’t help students think more clearly or understand subject matter any better or faster,6 and a recent study shows that it won’t improve their grades.7

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The Reality of ADHD

ADHD is a real neurobehavioral disorder.

ADHD is a real neurobehavioral disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development and is inconsistent with developmental level.8

An estimated 4.4% of U.S. adults meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV®) criteria for ADHD in the U.S. based on clinical interview.9,10†

Based on prevalence data, ADHD is estimated to affect nearly 10.5 million adults in the U.S.11,12†

The specific cause of ADHD is unknown. The diagnosis is made utilizing criteria specified in the DSM-V®, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, or International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10). Only a trained health care professional can evaluate and diagnose ADHD.

Although there is no cure for ADHD, there are accepted treatments that have been demonstrated to improve symptoms. Standard treatments include educational approaches, psychological therapies which may include behavioral modification, and/or medication. Ongoing assessment and treatment may be necessary.

As with all medications, ADHD prescription stimulant medication comes with certain risks, including the risk of dependence, misuse and abuse.

In addition to the potential legal and medical consequences, when students give away their medication or take medication that is not their own, they are trivializing a real psychiatric disorder.

Based on the National Comorbidity Survey Replication of 3,199 adults aged 18 to 44 years conducted from 2001-2003 and applied to the full U.S. population in 2011 aged 18 and over.

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