Jan 21

College students think abusing Adderall no worse than drinking coffee

For college students, a drug that offers to boost their memory and concentration, improve alertness and energy levels, help them stay awake, and give them a high is unsurprisingly appealing. What is shocking, however, is the attitude of students towards substance abuse.

Adderall is a prescription medication given to people with ADHD. It helps to control their energy levels and allows them to focus better, be more attentive, and form stronger memories. Because many of its qualities are just as desirable for those who don’t suffer from ADHD, Adderall is commonly misused by students looking to revise for exams, gain an advantage in competitive sports, hold down a part time job on top of their studies, or simply get high.

Adderall’s benefits are of particular interest to those participating in sport, where heightened alertness and energy are often key factors in an athlete’s performance. While sportsmen and women who have been diagnosed with ADHD are permitted to take Adderall, its use by anyone else would have to be considered cheating due to its performance enhancing abilities.

While 6% of college students indulge in substance abuse, many are of the belief that Adderall isn’t harmful, even when being taken for non-medicinal purposes. Students view taking the drug to help with energy levels or to stay awake as no more harmful than having a cup of coffee. However Adderall can have serious side effects, and even more worryingly, students are often drinking or taking illegal substances such as cocaine at the same time.

Students may think that they are gaining an advantage, or simply defeating the limitations of their own bodies. But taking carefully controlled medication for recreational use outside of the knowledge of a trained professional could have serious consequences. Overdosing on the medication can cause serious mood swings, severe mental changes, extreme headaches and fast breathing. It may give students a little boost for the exams, but is Adderall worth it?