Adderall: Prescription Study Buddy but at What Cost?
Many students start abusing Adderall to study, but soon encounter addiction
Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, (ADHD) and narcolepsy. When used correctly and as prescribed, Adderall can significantly improve the quality of life of people who suffer with these conditions. Unfortunately, the substance is often the subject of abuse, especially among teens and young adults as an academic performance enhancer.
Since Adderall is made up of a combination of stimulant amphetamines, it works by altering the brain’s chemical responses – specifically the ones responsible for focus and impulse control. The central nervous system begins increasing levels of dopamine, epinephrine and other neurotransmitters, allowing a student to eliminate distractions and work more efficiently when the course workload becomes heavy.
More Students than Ever are Abusing Adderall
Adderall abuse is highly prevalent among high school and college students. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Survey of Drug Use and Health, approximately 6.4 percent of full time college undergraduates, ages 18-22 abused Adderall in 2008. Nearly 90 percent of those students who abused Adderall also admitted to binge drinking within the previous 30 days; something that could severely complicate the effects of amphetamines like Adderall.
Students in especially competitive academic atmospheres are most likely to abuse Adderall, claiming they do so ‘for the right reasons.’ In fact, as many as 90 percent of students who abuse Adderall on college campuses do so to help them study. In 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Kentucky studied more than 1,800 college students, of which 34 percent admitted to having abused Adderall. The vast majority reported doing so to improve memory, focus and energy while coping with academic stress. Most of the survey respondents felt the drugs were easy to acquire and somehow more acceptable to abuse than other drugs that may carry a stigma.
Risking it All on Adderall
The dangers of Adderall abuse are significant and not worth the effects a student may perceive as beneficial while studying. Many schools have a zero tolerance drug policy; meaning students found in illegal possession of Adderall could be expelled. California State University for example, considers Adderall abuse to be academic dishonesty and will expel students found taking the drug without a prescription.
Furthermore, Adderall is also highly addictive and has properties that can lead to dependency. A person with an Adderall addiction or dependency will feel the need to take Adderall just to feel normal or may otherwise take increasingly larger dosages to achieve a desired effect. Overtime, Adderall abuse can lead to anxiety and depression, and in some cases, psychosis.
A person abusing Adderall may display certain signs and symptoms, such as restlessness or nervousness. Some will also experience dry mouth and headaches. Prolonged use of amphetamines can cause a loss of appetite and weight loss, as well as disrupted sleep habits. Students who are addicted to Adderall or who have taken large quantities of the substance may demonstrate aggression, slurred speech, shortness of breath and even seizures.
Substance Abuse Treatment Options
It is important that a person who may be addicted or dependent on amphetamines like Adderall seek help as soon as possible. The withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person goes through detox from prescription drugs can be severe and should not be experienced alone. Furthermore, detox is only the first step in the path to recovery, which should include a rehabilitative program.
At Malibu Beach Recovery Center, we offer a natural approach to detox and recovery designed to eliminate drug dependency and improve our clients’ well being. Though a combination of individual therapy, group therapy and lifestyle modifications, we help people with a history of addiction begin the journey to sobriety.
If you or someone you know is addicted to study drugs like Adderall, help is available. Call us today for more information about the Malibu Beach Recovery Center and to find out how we can help you move past prescription drug abuse and into a life free of chemical addiction.