Adderall abuse is a serious problem in the US. The availability and misuse of prescription medications have skyrocketed nationwide, even with students on college campuses. The American College Health Association Survey reported that nearly 14 percent of students during one school year at Northern Arizona University admitted to abusing prescription medications. Students easily access such prescriptions. Hence, adderall abuse is a growing concern.
Adderall Abuse – “Study Drugs”
One drug, in particular, Adderall – a stimulant usually given to individuals with ADHD – is being used for particular purposes by students. These reasons include:
- Staying awake to study longer
- Being able to party later into the night and consume more alcohol
- Keeping weight off and staying thin
- Being alert on the job after not getting much sleep
Adderall abuse has some people not only concerned for students’ health, but also upset about the unfair advantage these drugs may give the abuser over their sober classmates. Just like an athlete taking steroids, there is worry about the negative impact on their body, but also concern regarding the competitive nature of the sport.
The Myth of Adderall Abuse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), students falsely believe that Adderall can make you smarter. This is a myth that needs to be countered.
As the NIDA experts clearly state, “Research has shown that students who abuse prescription stimulants actually have lower GPAs in high school and college than those who don’t.”
Indeed, being smart is not about being more awake or hyped up. In contrast, being smart is about teens improving their ability to master new skills and concepts. Like a muscle in the body, the brain only gets stronger through exercise and work. Shortcuts, like abusing prescription stimulants, do not “exercise” the brain.
Students need to avoid shortcuts. Is your teen aware of the dangers? Do he/she know that taking Adderall does not“exercise” the brain?
In truth, like many prescription drugs, Adderall abuse leads to long-term health consequences.
Adderall Abuse on College Campuses
The statistics from Northern Arizona University are just a snapshot of what is happening around the country. Unlike a drug like steroids, where you can test an athlete and either they are positive or they are not, there are a wide range of gray areas for prescription medication misuse. If you only define it as “the use of medications without a doctor’s prescription,” it does not take into account:
- The individuals receiving their scripts from pill mills
- Those faking symptoms so their doctor will give them the drugs
- Individuals with multiple scripts from multiple doctors taking more than the recommended dose
With prescription medications, there can be a fine line between therapeutic use and the beginning of a problem. This is one reason why so many people are becoming addicted.
Signs Your College Student May Have a Prescription Pill Problem
No doubt prescription drug abuse is an issue many college administrations will be attempting to cope with in the coming years. However, in the meantime, parents and friends can keep an eye out. Look for the following signs of adderall abuse:
- The use of online pharmacies
- Excessive energy or tiredness
- Talk of pulling “all-nighters” frequently
- Constricted or dilated pupils
- Inability to focus
- Less inhibited
- Constantly in need of money
- Multiple prescription pill bottles that can’t be explained
If you suspect your child or close friend is in trouble, lead them to help. We can help you understand all the treatment options available so you can get your loved one the help they need to stop abusing adderall and other prescription medications.