Students abuse the prescription ADHD medications Adderall and Ritalin because they say the stimulants help them study better and therefore get better grades.
ADHD stimulants belong to a group of medications that ease the effects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder by increasing the ability to focus, pay attention and stay calm. The two best-known forms of these medications are Adderall and Ritalin. As part of a larger survey on substance use trends among American teenagers, researchers from the University of Michigan looked at the number of teens using either one of these medications improperly in 2013. The researchers concluded that the rate of Ritalin and Adderall abuse among U.S. adolescents remained comparable to the rate reported in 2012.
Adderall is the brand name for a prescription medication, which is a mix of drugs called amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is a stimulant commonly prescribed to treat ADHD, but may also treat narcolepsy. As a stimulant, Adderall is susceptible to abuse. With many cases of diagnosed ADHD, Adderall is easy to access for young people who want to abuse it. What may be surprising to some is that many students, both in high school and college, are not abusing Adderall for fun, but rather as a study aid. The potential consequences of this abuse are serious.
Amphetamines are a group of stimulant drugs and medications capable of creating serious changes in the normal function of both the brain and body. Habitual users of these substances can get addicted to their effects over time. Through a funding partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, researchers from the University of Michigan track the rate of amphetamine abuse among U.S. teens each year. In 2013, the rates for amphetamine abuse stopped falling among younger teenagers and rose slightly among older teenagers.
According to health officials, between five and 11 percent of American kids have the condition attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder – ADHD. Now, a study performed by the prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children who are diagnosed with the condition are at substantially greater risk of substance abuse.
In a few months, new and returning students will find themselves facing finals week. It’s a time when young people at many universities in the United States, clear their schedules to study. They may skip their favorite television shows, reduce their hours at work and close their door to the outside world in an effort to maximize their study time and focus.
Some students are doing more than that: They are elevating the intensity of their study habits by using stimulant drugs, such as those prescribed to individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Most drug abuse occurs because the substance produces euphoric effects for the user that they want to repeat as frequently as possible. Steroids are a notable exception to this rule, commonly being abused out of a desire to “bulk up” or otherwise improve physical appearance. Although the purpose is different, the model of steroid abuse is useful for understanding the causes of Adderall abuse among college and high school students, and it’s been referred to as the “academic steroid” for that reason.
Teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rely on psychostimulants like Adderall properly balance their brain chemistry to concentrate on both mental and physical tasks. Adderall doesn’t make anyone smarter, but it does help people focus, and that attribute has caught hold with students wanting to take it to help make studying easier.
As teens head off to college this fall, an alarming new report reminds parents and physicians that keeping grades up aren’t the only concerns for families.
Since early adolescence, some of these students have been taking medications for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Others will start taking them in college even though they have never been diagnosed with the mental disorder because they will hear from friends that drugs like Ritalin and Adderall can help them stay more focused when studying and taking tests.
A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveals that 23,000 young adults visited an emergency room in 2011 for ailments related to using ADHD drugs. This was more than four times the number of young adults, 5,600, that visited the Emergency Room in 2005.
Prescription stimulants are in great demand to treat the symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a couple of other mental disorders, but they are also in great demand among students who want help improving their grades. Teens and young adults who misuse prescription stimulants may not be aware that using stimulants can carry health and legal risks.
If you are the parent of a teen or a pre-teen, the latest news about prescription drugs is important for you to understand. New studies are showing that teens have very easy access to prescription medications, including those they have not been prescribed.