Misusing Adderall to Ace the Test
High school drug abusers used to be stereotyped as the unkempt, unintelligent troublemaker or loner. Today, students with straight A’s, affluent parents and outstanding reputations are becoming the norm, and it all stems from Adderall.
When tests, grades and college placements are on the line, some students are turning to pharmaceuticals. Adderall is prescribed to those with diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But some students are faking symptoms so they can get a hold of a drug that could help them achieve higher grades and test scores.
When teens fake symptoms they’re not only becoming drug abusers but they’re also making it more difficult for true ADHD teens to get the pills they really need.
According to the health care information company IMS, ADHD prescriptions for 10- to 19-year-olds rose 26 percent since 2007. Nearly 21 million people have prescriptions for ADHD, making it all too easy for pills to get passed around.
Because Adderall has been a common childhood prescription for years, teens and even some adults don’t view it as a dangerous drug. Many teens don’t see any harm in popping a pill that will increase their test scores and keep their parents happy. However, they also don’t realize that those pills are addictive and could someday send them to the emergency room and months of drug rehabilitation. They also don’t realize that when they sell them to their friends at $5 to $20 a pill they’re committing a crime.
One teen who was in drug rehabilitation said that others in his group saw addiction to Adderall as a minor problem. However, the Drug Enforcement Administration lists Adderall as a controlled substance in the same class as cocaine and morphine.
Abusing prescription stimulants can cause teens to become depressed, have insomnia and suffer from heart irregularities and exhaustion. Some get so addicted that they have to go through grueling withdrawal symptoms and attend rehabilitation.
Using Adderall as a study crutch isn’t worth the damage. Researchers caution that Adderall was designed to help students who need it in order to function, not to act as steroids for academic success.