Adderall Abuse On College Campuses
Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It involves the use of two stimulants, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which work together to affect chemicals in the brain that calm hyperactivity and improve impulse control.
Unfortunately, the positive effects of Adderall are often negated when people misuse or abuse it. Studies have explored the trend of college students abusing Adderall to enhance concentration and stay awake for longer periods to study. To many, it seems like a solution to the pressures of academia, but the effects of Adderall abuse can be damaging.
Full-Time Students And Adderall Use
In 2008, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In this study, full and part-time students were surveyed to assess the correlation between abuse of Adderall and other risky behaviors.
The study found pointed toward heavier usage (6.4%) in full-time students and less in part-time (3.0%). Even worse, the survey found that nearly 90% of all Adderall users binge drank in the past month with 50% of them being heavy drinkers.
Furthermore, full-time college students who abused Adderall were three times as likely to have used marijuana, eight times more likely to have used prescription tranquilizer, and five times more likely to have abused prescription pain medications than those who had not abused Adderall.
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Student Opinion On Cognitive Enhancement
In 2008, 1,800 students were interviewed regarding the use of Adderall for cognitive enhancement. Of the students surveyed, 81% believed that the drug was “not dangerous at all” or only “a little dangerous.”
Many students claimed that it didn’t seem to be a big deal, as the amphetamines contained in Adderall did not have the same effect as those found in methamphetamine. In the same study, many students claimed to use Adderall once or twice every week to work more efficiently with a heavier workload.
Adverse Reactions With Adderall And Other Substances
Abuse of Adderall can be dangerous, and when used in conjunction with other substances, it poses a heavy risk of causing significant damage to the body. Taking it in conjunction with prescription medications, such as antidepressants, opiates, blood thinners, pseudoephedrine, and phynylepherine, can increase the risk of adverse reactions.
Adderall is commonly used to counter the depressant qualities of alcohol and shut off the warning signs of overconsumption. This can lead to many dangerous side effects, including paranoia, agitation, heart palpitations, alcohol poisoning, coma, stroke, or even death.
Common Signs Of Adderall Addiction
It’s not uncommon to feel pressure to get ahead in school. While Adderall may appear harmless at first, it carries with it the risk of addiction. Some of the most common signs of addiction include:
- Increasing tolerance to the effects of the drug
- Taking the drug despite negative consequences
- Trouble working without Adderall
- Needing the drug to stay awake
In college, these problems can interfere with your studies or force you to drop out. Even if you are taking Adderall once or twice per week, there is a chance that your body will become more tolerant to the drug. This could mean a higher dose is necessary to feel the effects, which could lead to Adderall overdose.
Signs Of Adderall Overdose
Many individuals respond differently to amphetamines and toxic overdose symptoms are possible even in very small doses. Some of the main symptoms of Adderall overdose include:
- Tremors, muscle twitches, and insomnia
- Confusion, hallucinations, and panic
- Aggressiveness, depression, and seizures
- Fainting, gastronomic distress, and coma
In rare cases, an Adderall overdose can be fatal. People with preexisting heart conditions are advised to avoid amphetamines due to the negative effects on the heart. Amphetamine drugs can be addictive with repeated use and may cause severe withdrawal when stopped abruptly.
Adderall: Not Worth The Risk
Aside from the physical and psychological risks associated with abusing Adderall, there are additional problems for students to consider. If Adderall is found on campus, there are repercussions that could range from law enforcement involvement to expulsion.
Many schools uphold a “zero tolerance” policy regarding the possession, use, and distribution of substances on campus. If students are found in violation of this policy, it is possible to lose financial aid. When considering the many risks involved with the abuse of Adderall, it’s easy to see how it could hurt an otherwise promising college career.
We Can Help
The college experience can be highly stressful, which is why many college students rely on the stimulating effects of Adderall to stay ahead. If you or a loved one is struggling with Adderall dependence, the caring staff at Addiction Campuses is here to help. We can offer guidance and support to help you get on the right track. Contact us today to get started.