Dangerous Drugs Abused By College Students
Many students who take Adderall or Ritalin, drugs commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), actually have not been diagnosed with this disorder. According to a recent press release from Ohio State University, these dangerous drugs are being widely misused and abused. Indeed, students have indicated that the pills are cheap and easy to purchase.
Many students who do not have prescriptions for these medications begin using them “to enhance their alertness while studying” or to help them pull all-nighters to study for an exam, complete a paper, and/ or finish a project. High school and college students are among the greatest offenders when it comes to abusing prescription ADHD medications. This is not a surprise, given the fact that Adderall is “the most popularly prescribed Amphetamine and one of the most commonly abused substances in the U.S.”
In addition to abusing Adderall or Ritalin for purposes related to academic performance, students have also indicated that they use these drugs illegally for some of the following purposes:
- To lose weight;
- To enhance athletic performance; and
- For sheer recreational use.
Even when it is properly prescribed, Adderall can pose serious and life-threatening side effects. Moreover, when it is used by students who do not have a prescription, this kind of drug can be extremely dangerous. In particular, students who are not using Adderall as it has been prescribed can unknowingly mix it with other dangerous substances, which can produce fatal results.
Unfortunately, many students do not realize the fact that Adderall can be particularly dangerous for people with preexisting heart conditions. When it is abused, the drug can also lead to “psychotic symptoms, such as auditory and visual hallucinations.” Furthermore, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania showed that Adderall and other ADHD drugs often “give students an inflated sense of productivity” but do not actually do much good in terms of a student’s cognitive functions.
Adderall Use: Facts and Figures
A recent report from PBS Frontline on stimulant use explained that the prescribing of drugs intended to treat ADHD has allowed for the legal production of methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall) in great quantity. According to the report, a “vast majority” of the prescriptions for these drugs were written for kids under the age of 18 who had been diagnosed with ADHD.
The number of these prescriptions has grown drastically in the last two decades. The report focused specifically on the 1990s—the years in which Adderall was released and became a popular alternative to Ritalin—and the rate at which prescriptions were written for these medications:
- In 1991, only about 2 million prescriptions were written for methylphenidates, while fewer than one million were written for amphetamines. At this point, Adderall had not yet been released.
- By 1996, when Adderall was released on the market, the number of amphetamine prescriptions rose to about 2.5 million, while methylphenidate prescriptions had soared to nearly 10 million.
- Within only 5 years’ time, Adderall had become one of the most popular prescription drugs to treat the symptoms of ADHD. The number of prescriptions written had doubled to nearly 5 million, while the number of methylphenidate prescriptions remained steady at about 10 million.
- Between 1996 and 2013, the number of Adderall prescriptions written in our country had “more than tripled.”
Adderall can prove extremely dangerous to young students who use and abuse this dangerous drug. If your child has experienced serious side effects from Adderall, contact a dangerous drug attorney to learn more about your rights.