80% of Upperclass College Students Abuse ADHD Drugs

College students across the US are taking the ADHD drugs recreationally because they are performing better.

To receive a extra boost when studying for exams and writing papers, college students across the US are taking the ADHD drug Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), which was “developed solely for those diagnosed with the disorder.” However, students who admit to not having ADHD are using drugs like Adderall recreationally because “they perform better with its aid or simply enjoy the high of the prescription drug.”

Many students, like Auburn University senior Jared Gabay, are getting the drug without difficulty and taking them without a prescription. After taking the pill, Gabay pulls long hours studying in his fraternity house room. Alan DeSantis, professor and researcher at the University of Kentucky, has tracked study drug use there and said that “it’s abused more than marijuana and easier to get.”

DeSantis’ research has found that 30% of students at the university have illegally taken controlled stimulants, like ADHD drugs Ritalin and Adderall. Half of the juniors and seniors have used the drugs, as well as 80% of upperclassmen in fraternities and sororities. Adderall is an amphetamine that can be habit forming, and is labeled by the federal government as having “the highest abuse potential and dependence profile of all drugs that have medical utility.”

Dr. Raymond Kotwicki, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University's School of Medicine, worries that students taking the drugs lose sight of the damage they are inflicting on their bodies. He also said that drugs like Adderall could produce jitters, headaches, stomach problems, or even eventually lead to psychosis, a mental disorder that includes the loss of contact with reality.

While some scientists say cognitive enhancement drugs should be carefully legalized and made available for the use of studying and focusing, the drugs cause other consequences than the ones to the body. Taking drugs without a prescription or buying the controlled substances is illegal and students who use the drugs could face prosecution.

Related links from the Web

College students take ADHD drugs for better grades [CNN Health]

Adderall: College Students' Best Friend--Or Worst Enemy? [Serendip.com]

Top Ten Things I Wish Students With ADD (ADHD) Knew About Their Medication When They Arrive On Campus [ADDvance.com]