Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Cay Anderson-Hanley




medical, use, psychostimulant, adhd


Previous research suggests there is a rising trend of non-medical psychostimulant use on college campuses. The current study examined the prevalence of non-medical psychostimulant use, assessed students’ motivations and perceptions of the cognitive and emotional benefits, and attempted to influence their views by giving them real scenarios where psychostimulants are not effective for individuals without ADHD. Results revealed that there is a prevalence of non-medical psychostimulant use at Union College. Non-medical psychostimulant users had a more positive perception that these medications enhance performance, cognition, memory, mood/energy, and motivation to start and complete work. There were no significant interactions or differences in reported planned use of non-medical users after exposing them to scientific evidence and social media scenarios where psychostimulants are not beneficial for individuals without ADHD. Nevertheless, there is a need to promote safe and legal use of these substances as well as change students’ study habits to better manage academic pressure. My goal is to start a conversation about the consequences of non-medical psychostimulant use amongst college students without ADHD.