Today it's impossible to walk into any classroom at a public school without finding at least one child who uses Adderall or a similar drug to treat ADD/ADHD. In 2012, about 16 million prescriptions for stimulants like Adderall were written –– almost triple the amount prescribed in 2008. But in a generation concerned with raising awareness for mental health disorders, are we aiding the abuse of stimulants like Adderall? The increase in prescription drug abuse, especially among college students, is a growing problem that needs to be addressed.
Along with the 16 million prescriptions for stimulant drugs in 2012, over 116,000 people were admitted into rehab for addiction to amphetamines like Adderall. Many people who are addicted to Adderall are college students who are using the drug with an improper or no prescription. The drug acts as a stimulant for the body that allows the user to focus and stay awake for longer periods of time while suppressing the body's appetite. This effect creates the perfect drug for students that are trying to juggle school work, studying and a job, which leads to drug abuse and addiction. An addiction to such a drug can lead to days without sleep and food, due to the drug's effects on the body, which can lead to a decline in the overall health of a person.
College students are twice as likely to abuse Adderall as their peers who aren't in school. The increase in stimulant abuse among teenagers and young adults could be due to the over prescription and casual attitude towards drugs that are prescribed by doctors. Teenagers may believe that since Adderall is prescribed by doctors and other medical personnel, there are no harmful side effects or risk of addiction that are common in illegal stimulants like cocaine, but Adderall is a highly addictive drug. The benefits of taking Adderall for non-ADHD users, like the focus and ability to stay awake for longer periods of time, seem to tempt overloaded college students because it can seem like an easy fix for those struggling with time management.
In the midst of a generation full of concern for mental health problems, we seem to be turning our backs on other problems, like prescription drug abuse, that are caused by the casual attitude toward medication prescribed by doctors. So, not only should we focus on raising awareness for mental health issues like anxiety and depression, but we should also be teaching teenagers and young adults about the dangerous effects of prescription drug abuse.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with an addiction to stimulants, don't hesitate to get help. More information can be found at https://www.addictioncenter.com/stimulants/adderal... or call (877)679-8927.