No one can deny the effectiveness of the medication which is known as a “Smart Drug”, that provides students with the super-human focus needed for marathon study or writing sessions and likewise, no one can deny the extent of the drug’s popularity on college campuses.
In a survey study of students at 119 American college campuses published in the journal Addiction, it was found that up to 25% of those enrolled at very competitive universities had used the drug as a study aid. Another survey study, the federal government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, for 2008, found that only 6.4% of students had used the drug in the past year, but that college students aged 18-22 were twice as likely to abuse Adderall than non students from the same age group.
The medication, which is widely available on college campuses, retails illicitly for only a few dollars a pill – not much more than a single cup of coffee, but provides a far bigger bang for that buck.
College students aged 18-22 were twice as likely to abuse Adderall than non students from the same age group.
It works and so college students use it, but in doing so they put themselves at risk of some serious adverse consequences.
Firstly, Adderall is a schedule II medication, a drug with a high risk of abuse and dependence. Using Adderall regularly over prolonged periods of time puts a person at great risk of developing an addiction to adderall (similar to a cocaine addiction). Also, the use and possession of a schedule II medication not prescribed to you is a serious crime under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and is punishable with prison time.
Additional risks include:
• Sudden death (people with heart abnormalities have died suddenly after taking Adderall.)
• Heart attack
• Aggressive behavior
Prolonged abuse of Adderall can lead to the development of a tolerance (the need to take ever greater quantities of the drug to feel the desired results) and to addiction to Adderall. There is also a possibility that the person abusing Adderall can graduate to other more illicit substances and become addicted to speed (meth) or addicted to ecstasy (both of which can be fatal in any given use).
Once addicted, Adderall users need to take the medication to avoid feelings of withdrawal that can include:
• Other symptoms
While usage statistics are available, the percentage of college students that cross the line from occasional abuse to Adderall addiction remains unknown.