Is ADHD Drug Abuse Rising Amongst College Students?

Substance abuse amongst college students has been on the rise in recent years, and some of the primary substances students have been abusing are prescription amphetamines. These medications are typically prescribed to people who suffer from an Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or an Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The medications are designed to help a person who can’t focus while in class or performing daily tasks. The problem is that these medications can become addictive, and they’re often abused.

The Prescribing of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder Medications

There are often debates between parents about whether these medications hurt or help children. Long before children go off to college, many young people are prescribed medications like Adderall to help with symptoms of ADHD. The argument some parents and doctors have is that too many physicians are over-prescribing these medications.

Young people are very active and have tendencies to be hyper, and this is just part of growing up for the most part. Young people are filled with energy and some children simply don’t have the capacity to sit still throughout a day at school. This may not always mean that they need to be on ADHD medications. For some, these medications have helped greatly. One great concern, however, is that there is a new chewable form of an ADHD drug available. They are flavored extended release drugs that dissolve instantly. This is a problem for both children and young adults who may potentially developing dependence.

The Abuse of Adderall and Ritalin on College Campuses

According to a story from CCN in April of 2014, prescription drug abuse for medications like Adderall and Ritalin were on the rise for nearly a decade on college campuses. Many students entering college may have been taking these medications since elementary, middle or high school, but college years can often influence the abuse of these medications for a variety of different reasons. Researchers estimated that about 30 percent of students using Adderall, Ritalin or Vyvanse were using the drugs non-medically [1].

Abusing the Medications to Study

College can be a fun adventure for many young people and it is perceived as the last step before adulthood. This is where young people come to focus on their field of study and begin exploring what their true passions are in life so they can find a career that they enjoy. For many students college can be an extremely stressful time. Students can often feel overwhelmed about the studying and tests, and this can lead to the abuse of the medications.

Adderall and other medically prescribed stimulants make a person more alert. Much like cocaine, the medication can help a person stay up. It’s much easier for a student to pull an all-nighter of studying for finals when they double their dose of Adderall or Ritalin but this is how substance abuse begins. The person justifies their abuse of the medication with the fact that they need to study but they can begin to see that their life becomes unmanageable, and this is the point where they should seek help.

Abusing Medications to Party

One of the most common reasons for the abuse of these medications is to stay up later and drink longer. When abusing these medications in conjunction with drinking, the person feels less of the effects of alcohol, so they can drink longer and stay alert. The danger behind this is that a person doesn’t realize how much they’ve drank, and this can lead to alcohol poisoning as well as heart failure.

If you believe you’ve developed a dependence or addiction to prescription ADHD medications, there is help. The first step towards regaining control of your life is admitting that there is a problem, and then a qualified treatment center can help you get back on the right track.