A growing body of research demonstrates the nonmedical use, abuse, and misuse of prescription stimulants among college-aged teenagers and young adults, but there is a paucity of data on what factors contribute to the misuse and what role primary care providers currently play in ADHD medication use and misuse in college-aged teenagers and young adults.

Specific Aims and Objectives

To characterize current approaches to prevention of misuse in primary care of ADHD medications in teens and young adults that can guide identification of potentially impactful primary-care-based strategies that reduce ADHD medication misuse (and that reinforce appropriate ADHD medication use).

1. To develop and administer a national survey of primary care physicians that investigates the current care practices, concerns, needs, beliefs, barriers and facilitators to appropriate pharmacological treatment of teens and young adults 17—26 years old with ADHD and prevention of misuse by teens and young adults not diagnosed with ADHD.

2. To develop and administer a targeted survey of primary care providers in college student health centers that investigates the current care practices, concerns, needs, beliefs and barriers and facilitators around prescription medication for ADHD uses in teens and young adults with and without ADHD.

3. To analyze and summarize the results of each survey with a focus on identifying potentially impactful primary-care-based strategies to reduce ADHD medication misuse and to reinforce appropriate ADHD medication use.

Study Description and Methods

The study will be conducted with representative samples of: 1.) the AAFP active members who reside in the USA, spend at least 50% of their time in direct patient care, and have responsibility for the care of teenagers and young adults and 2.) the American College Health Association (ACHA) primary care physicians working in student health centers.

Given that a literature review identified no existing surveys for use or modification in this area, the project team will construct two new surveys based on two different samples.


This study will be conducted from March 2015 through February 2016.


Study is currently collecting data.

Key Findings and Publications

Please check back for key findings and publications.

Contact Information

For additional information about this study, please contact:

Emily Bullard, MPH
Senior Research Project Coordinator
AAFP National Research Network
(800) 274-2237, ext. 3174