Nonmedical Use of Prescription ADHD Stimulant Medications Among Adults in a Substance Abuse Treatment Population: Early Findings From the NAVIPPRO Surveillance System

Authors: Cassidy, T. A.; McNaughton, E. C.; Varughese, S.; Russo, L., et al.

Published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, Volume: 19 issue: 4, page(s): 275-283
Article first published online: July 30, 2013;Issue published: April 1, 2015

Objective: To examine nonmedical use (NMU) of prescription ADHD stimulants among
adults evaluated for substance abuse treatment.

Method: 147,816 assessments from the National Addictions Vigilance Intervention and Prevention Program (NAVIPPRO) system (10/01/2009 through 03/31/2012) examined NMU prevalence, routes of administration (ROA), and diversion sources.

Results: Past 30-day NMU for prescription stimulants (1.29%) was significantly lower than that of prescription opioids (19.79%) or sedatives (10.62%). For stimulant products, NMU for Adderall was 0.62, followed by Adderall XR (0.42), Ritalin (0.16), Vyvanse (0.12), and Concerta (0.08); product differences likely have limited clinical relevance given the low estimates (<1%). Higher NMU per prescriptions was for Adderall (4.92), Ritalin (4.68), and Adderall XR (3.18) compared with newer formulations (Vyvanse 1.26, Concerta 0.89). Diversion source was mainly family/friends with no differences between products; swallowing whole was the most frequent ROA.

Conclusion: Prescription stimulant NMU was low compared with other prescription medications among individuals assessed for substance abuse problems, with little difference among specific products.