Recent evidence has shown that Adderall use among college students is on the rise. The use of street-bought Adderall as a study drug is an ever-growing trend that is now garnering national attention.
Experts estimate that one in ten students abuses Adderall, a drug prescribed to treat attention deficithyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In 2009, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) issued a report on the non-medical use of Adderall among full-time college students. The statistics gathered regarding Adderall college use revealed a trend of non-medical Adderall use in relation to marijuana and cocaine use. Full-time college students between the ages of 18-22 who used Adderall without a prescription were nearly three times more likely to have used marijuana and eight times more likely to have used cocaine than students who were not users of non-medical Adderall.
A web-based survey of students at UNC-Greensboro and Duke University in 2008 showed that the majority of students who used Adderall felt that the drug was beneficial. Students who use Adderall claim that the drug, which acts as a stimulant, helps improve focus and the ability to study. The drug is quick and easy for students to get, as they often purchase it from others who have obtained prescriptions from healthcare providers. Students commonly compare notes with one another on the best ways to obtain these prescriptions.
While Adderall might improve rote learning, research has shown the drug has an adverse effect on complex learning and creativity. In addition, common side effects of the drug include difficulty sleeping, headaches and irritability. Adderall is also highly addictive when not used under the supervision of a qualified physician. Those addicted to Adderall face the risk of stroke, psychosis and ultimately, death.
Shire, a pharmaceuticals manufacturer, issued a statement in May of 2011 in response to the issue of Adderall abuse among college students. This statement supported the appropriate use of ADHD medications and clearly denounced the misuse and abuse of these medications. Shire also emphasized the importance of proper use of ADHD medications under careful medical supervision as part of an overall treatment plan. Shire has sponsored several educational and awareness programs in an attempt to educate both patients and healthcare professionals and minimize the risks associated with medications like Adderall.
Duke University is taking steps to reduce the non-medical use of Adderall on campus. Not only is Adderall college use against Duke University’s drug policy, but it is also considered cheating. At UNC, possession of Adderall without a prescription is actionable under the Instrument of Student Governance. Off campus, the consequences are much more severe. Adderall is a Schedule II narcotic, and possession of the drug is considered a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for the second offense.
Help is available for students fighting Adderall addiction. Narconon schools students and parents on the dangers of Adderall use and provides rehabilitation services and support and Narconon objectives for addicts and their families. For more information, call Narconon at 1-800-775-8750.