Risk and Protective Factors for Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants and Methamphetamine among Adolescents

Behavioral Health Research Division RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 3.61). 10/2006; 39(3):374-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.01.006
Source: PubMed


This article reports on correlates of past-year nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and methamphetamine among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.
Data from the 2002 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) were used to conduct logistic regression analyses of the demographic, psychosocial, and behavioral correlates of illicit stimulant use. The sample size was 17,709.
Analyses revealed that mental health treatment utilization and use of marijuana and other illegal drugs were correlated with nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and methamphetamine among adolescents. Females and adolescents who reported low religiosity, binge drinking, and selling drugs were more likely to use methamphetamine than were males or individuals who did not report these attitudes or behaviors. Additionally, black adolescents were less likely than white adolescents to use methamphetamine. Alternatively, adolescents who reported high family conflict and sensation-seeking were more likely than their counterparts to use prescription stimulants nonmedically, and Hispanic adolescents were less likely to use prescription stimulants nonmedically than white adolescents.
Risk for illicit use of stimulants varies by demographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors. Different intervention mechanisms, populations, and settings should be targeted to prevent nonmedical use of prescription stimulants versus methamphetamine among adolescents.

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    • "Level of religious importance (in one's life) is an indicator of religious salience and is often examined in relation to risk behavior (Bartkowski and Xu 2007). Personal importance of religion has been found to be protective against marijuana use in adolescents (Sinha et al. 2007), and low importance has been found to be a risk factor for use of cocaine, ecstasy, and nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (Degenhardt et al. 2007; Herman-Stahl et al. 2006). Other studies have found that private religiosity, which includes level of religious importance, is more protective against substance use than public religiosity , such as attendance (Bartkowski and Xu 2007; Nonnemaker et al. 2003). "
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    • "The relatively lower reliability for psychosocial variables can be attributed to the influence of adolescents' daily interactions and exposure to media (SAMHSA 2010). For the purposes of the present study, some of the psychosocial risk and protective factors were formed into composite variables in accordance with the literature (e.g., Gardner and Shoemaker 1989; Herman-Stahl et al. 2006); these composite variables were subjected to reliability tests. "
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    • "We also include measures associated with three popular theories of adolescent substance use: Social Control (Hirschi, 1969), Social Learning (Akers, 1985), and General Strain (Agnew, 1992). Prior research has shown that individuals with weaker bonds to parents and school (Ford, 2009; Herman-Stahl et al., 2006; Sung, Richter, Vaughan, Johnson, & Thom, 2005), with peers who report substance use and access to individuals with permissive attitudes towards drugs (Ford, 2008b; Sung et al., 2005), and who experience higher levels of strain (Ford & Schroeder, 2009) are at an increased risk for prescription drug misuse. Finally, we include measures of substance use as prior research has identified substance use as a robust correlate of prescription drug misuse (Arkes & Iguchi, 2008; Ford, 2009; Herman-Stahl et al., 2006; Sung et al., 2005; Wu et al., 2008). "
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