Students Taking Adderall for Non-Medical Reasons

Students Taking Adderall for Non-Medical Reasons

One of the biggest challenges for those fighting against illegal drug use is the growing instances of prescription drugs used for non-medical reasons or for someone other than the patient for which they were prescribed.

Adderall is a psychostimulant that is reported to increase alertness, concentration and overall cognitive performance while also decreasing fatigue. This medication is often prescribed for patients who are suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Due to the benefits that Adderall can provide, it is turning up more and more on college campuses as students find that the drug helps to improve overall performance. In fact, a recent NSDUH Report, Nonmedical Use of Adderall Among Full-Time College Students, shared the findings from a study that indicate that full-time college students aged 18 to 22 were twice as likely as their counterparts who were not full-time college students, to have used Adderall nonmedically in the past year.

In addition, this same group of college students who were nonmedical Adderall users were nearly three times as likely to have used marijuana in the past year, eight times as likely to have used cocaine or prescription tranquilizers for nonmedical reasons and five times as likely to have been nonmedical users of prescription pain relievers.

Alcohol was also a problem for those college students who used Adderall for nonmedical reasons. Nearly 90 percent of these full-time college students were also binge drinkers who had engaged in the activity in the past month. More than half of these students were also considered to be heavy alcohol users.

One of the reasons why Adderall is of such important focus for policymakers is the fact that it is among the group of legally approved drugs that is classified as having the highest potential for dependence or abuse. As a result, this drug also presents the greatest risk for those who are not using it according to its original intent.

Those full-time college students who are using Adderall for nonmedical reasons tend to be white. Of this group of users, 8.6 percent were white, 1.0 percent were black, 2.1 were Asian, 2.2 percent were Hispanic and 2.7 were persons of two or more races.

Family income also appeared to have an impact on those students who elected to use Adderall for reasons outside of medical purposes. Use appeared to be the highest among full-time students from families with annual incomes of less than $20,000 with 8.9 percent of this group falling into this category. Another 6.0 percent were from families with annual incomes of $75,000 or more.

Aside from the potential for dependence on Adderall when it is used outside of medical reasons, it can also increase a person’s risk for heart attack or stroke. Those students who take Adderall nonmedically may also need to take central nervous systems depressants to counteract the stimulant effects of Adderall, presenting additional risks.

Those educators, policymakers and parents who are concerned about the nonmedical use of Adderall need to take further action to ensure that these students understand the risk they are posing to themselves and to others by engaging in this activity. What may seem the answer to get them through college could end up taking their life.

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