Taking Adderall illegally is dangerous. Here are 5 ways to alert college students. Many college students are taking Adderall illegally. Why? The answer is that they think that its use is safe and that it can actually help them to concentrate better and study for longer.
What do the statistics tell us?
Recent figures show that:-
- just two years ago, the National Institutes of Mental Health reported that there were over 14 million people on Adderall. It is impossible to know that how many were actually suffering from ADHD which would justify that large figure.
- 10% of teenagers interviewed by the ‘Partnership For a Drug Free America’ had tried psychostimulant drugs without any medical guidance.
- many college students are faking ADHD symptoms when visiting college medical services so that they can get an unfair advantage in exams
- some students are actually doing this so that they can sell the drugs to their fellow students and make a handsome profit.
- Brigham Young University researchers found that there were over 200,000 mentions of the drug Adderall on Twitter. The majority were from college students who were openly admitting to using the drug to help with exams and academic progress.
- The above research has just been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research and confirmed that the tweets were from over 130,000 users.
What are the dangers?
Most medical experts agree now that the unprescribed use of Adderall and indeed any psychostimulant drug is dangerous, because of the following reasons:-
- Adderall, or similar drugs, are on the Schedule II classified list which means that they are the second most dangerous type of drug and that is why they are strictly controlled, in theory at least
Adderall is now second on the list of the most dangerous drugs used. The top one is marijuana, according to the NIMH.
Adderall is dangerous in that it can lead to substance abuse quite easily
Side effects can be serious especially if a student is prone to anxiety.
Risks of combining the drug with cocaine or alcohol could have disastrous consequences.
- Psychological health risks are common
Students may stop eating and have sleep problems
Building up tolerance to the drug may lead to real addiction later on
Why the tragic story of Richard Fee should be a warning
Richard Fee was a student who started taking Vyvanse and Adderall to help him raise his low scores. He began to suffer from paranoia, mood swings, delusions and severe depression which led to a breakdown. His parents were so frightened that they had to lock their bedroom door at night.
Richard ended up by hanging himself. Just one tragic story of a student who never had ADHD and yet destroyed his life by illegally taking those drugs.
5 ways to raise more awareness among students.
A University of Cambridge neuroscientist, Barbara Sahakian, has suggested that all universities should have a smart drug screening process in place for all students taking exams. This is what happens in sport so the same standards should be applied. As yet, this procedure does not exist. It would, however, be a useful deterrent.
- Colleges should do more in highlighting the legal risks, health risks and also be stricter when testing fake ADHD students.
Student services should be more proactive in promoting healthier and more legal lifestyles. Getting proper rest and sleep, sports and outdoor activities should be more actively encouraged.
Parents should talk to their offspring about the dangers. As regards teens who were interviewed, only about 25% said that their parents ever broached the subject of substance abuse.
Highlight better study habits and make students aware of their limitations. This would remove the need for last minute studying and ridiculously long study sessions before exams and tests.
There are other aspects of this problem such as better policing of the campus to catch the Adderall dealers but there are no extra resources for that. It will take a long time to stamp out this problem but parents, teachers, college authorities and student services should all be much more proactive.
Author Bio:-Robert Locke MBE is a health enthusiast specializing in children’s health and has written extensively on ADHD, parenting, mental health, anxiety and depression. You can discover more by visiting the Problem Kids Blog.