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An analysis of the significant variation in psychostimulant use across the U.S


  • Farasat A.S. Bokhari

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

  • Rick Mayes

    () (Department of Political Science, University of Richmond, Richmond)

  • Richard M. Scheffler

    () (Graduate School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA)


Objective: To provide a county-level profile of the area variation in psychostimulant use in the U.S. Methods: We sepa-rated 3,030 U.S. counties into two categories of “low” and “high” use of ADHD drugs (based on data from the Drug Enforce-ment Administration, DEA), and then compared them on the basis of their socio-demographic, economic, educational, and medical characteristics. Results: We found that there is a significant difference in the profile of counties that are above or below the national median rate of psychostimulant use (defined as grams/per 100K population). Compared to counties below the median level, counties above the median level have significantly greater population, higher per-capita income, lower unemployment rates, greater HMO penetration, more physicians per capita, and higher students-to-teacher ratios. The two sets of counties also differ significantly in their demographic composition. Conclusions: Our analysis of the DEA's ARCOS data shows that area variation in psychostimulant use is large and growing over time. U.S. counties differ significantly not only in their use of psychostimulant drugs, but also in their socioeconomic, demo-graphic, educational, and health system characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Farasat A.S. Bokhari & Rick Mayes & Richard M. Scheffler, 2003. "An analysis of the significant variation in psychostimulant use across the U.S," Working Papers wp2003_01_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Apr 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2003_01_01 Note: This paper was published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 2005; 14-4: 267–275 a copy is available from the publisher. If you need a copy of the original working paper, pls. contact the author.

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    psychostimulants; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); methylphenidate; amphetamine; mental health; children; adolescents;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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