Intranasal Use of Prescription Stimulants Among Adults Aged 18 to 30: Results From A Crowdsourcing Platform

Suzanne K. Vosburg, Stephen V. Faraone, Elizabeth Riley, Timothy Whitaker, Jessica Kardish, David Baker, Scott H. Kollins, Craig R. Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Few studies of prescription stimulant non-oral, non-medical use (NMU) (defined by use not as prescribed) have been conducted in adults beyond the college population. The purpose of this study was to characterize prescription stimulant non-oral use, specifically intranasal (IN) use (snorting) in young adults. Method: Amazon’s MTurk platform was used to recruit participants for an online survey. Data were collected from March to April 2020. Results: Thirty-two percent (n = 157) of survey respondents (N = 975), aged 18 to 30, reported IN prescription stimulant use (average of 32.1 episodes of lifetime IN use). Adderall was the most-reported prescription stimulant used intranasally (89.2%). Most IN users (82%; n = 68) reported spending no more than 5 minutes tampering with prescription stimulants. Intranasal users said they would take the medication orally if unable to tamper or manipulate medication for IN use. Conclusion: These data help quantify a complex public health issue of ongoing IN use of prescription stimulants and suggest a potential role for manipulation-deterrent medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-25
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by Vallon Pharmaceuticals (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA). Vallon Pharmaceuticals funded this study and was involved with the initial study conceptualization and analysis. However, final data analysis, interpretation and writing up of results was the sole discretion of the authors. Vallon Pharmaceuticals reviewed the final manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© ©The Author(s) 2022.


  • ADHD
  • intranasal use
  • non-medical use
  • prescription stimulants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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