College Students and Adderall Abuse: Statistics and Serious Health Risks
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 5 million American adults are misusing prescription stimulants with the top motivation for the abuse being to help with alertness or concentration. And with the increase in societal pressure for kids to perform at high levels during their college experience, it’s no wonder a large percentage of young adults are also abusing/misusing amphetamine-based stimulants like Adderall.
Adderall is a strong central nervous system stimulant and is commonly prescribed for ADHD. The drug is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its high risk for increased tolerance leading to addiction. In terms of amphetamine misuse on college campuses, a recent survey conducted by The National Institute on Drug Abuse Monitoring the Future (2018) found:
- Amphetamine use without a doctor’s prescription was higher among college students than among their noncollege age-mates. Annual prevalence of amphetamine use among college students was 8.5% in 2018, compared to 4.8% in the noncollege group.
- The higher use by college students is very likely because the drug is often used by students to stay awake and alert in order to complete coursework and to study for exams.
According to a report by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health mainly 18-to-25-year-olds are inappropriately taking Adderall without a prescription, primarily getting the medication from friends/family. And while the number of prescriptions for the stimulant has remained unchanged among young adults, misuse and emergency room visits related to the drug have risen dramatically in this group. Moreover, the Johns Hopkins study co-author Ramin Mojtabai states, “Adderall does improve focus, but it can also cause sleep disruption and serious cardiovascular side effects, such as high blood pressure and stroke. It also increases the risk for mental health problems, including depression, bipolar disorder and unusual behaviors including aggressive or hostile behavior. “
Other dangerous side effects of Adderall abuse are:
- Rash or hives
- Reduced appetite, nausea
- Sexual dysfunction
- Irregular heartbeat
Adderall, Addiction and Hope
College students who misuse or abuse Adderall believe these medications increase their knowledge and study performance. However, the sad and dangerous truth is that misuse of these stimulants come with serious adverse effects and the scariest part is that researchers still don’t know about the long-term health effects. But there is hope. As is true with any drug abuse, education, support, and professional treatment is the best chance to help those suffering from substance use disorders or addiction. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have an Adderall addiction, it’s crucial to take action. The harmful effects of this addiction will only worsen and can even become life-threatening over time. While there is no cure for addiction, it is treatable and recovery is possible. Make the life-saving decision to get help today – contact Daylight Recovery Services at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT to speak with one of our recovery experts.