It’s unfortunate that more young adults are abusing Adderall for the purpose of keeping up with their studies even though they do not truly need it. Prescription pills abuse has been a major issue in the U.S. for a long time. Adderall, particular, poses as a problem.
- Rates of Adderall abuse have increased by 67% between 2006 and 2011
- The rates of emergency visits linked to Adderall abuse have also increased by 155%
- More students and young adults are using the drug to better focus even without suffering from conditions it treats, such as ADHD
- Adderall abuse comes with several health risks, including cardiac arrest
Adderall is a stimulant commonly used to treat conditions such as narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For those with the condition, the drugs are used to control the main symptoms such as trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, and inability of finish tasks. However, that’s unfortunately not how many students choose to use it. And most of them acquire the prescription drug from relatives or friends.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, more young adults are taking Adderall. However, the rates of conditions that actually require the drug have remained stable, which means that more people are abusing it. The non-medical use of Adderall has increased by 67% between 2006 and 2011. Even more, emergency room visits due to issues surrounding the misuse of the drug have gone up by a whopping 155% for adults between 18 to 25 years old.
The problem is rooted in the fact that more and more students are using Adderall during late night cram sessions or just for keeping up with their studies. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to track because no one really talks about it. It’s “like a myth”, according to Olivia Arnold, a student at Queens University in Charlotte. And “it makes sense” because a lot of students are facing pressures of acquiring excellent grades, deadlines, and other papers that need to be done. That’s not a good enough excuse though.
It has become a habit that is as common as it is unwise. Glen Ackerman, who is a doctor at St. Rita’s Family Practice, underlined the fact that the drug was prescribed for a person who actually needed it. It requires a certain set of circumstances that helps them keep up with daily tasks. If taken outside of that situation, then anyone risks an overdose, as it kicks their system into gear to levels that are anything beyond normal. For some, it’s maintenance. For others, however, it could be lethal.
Dr. Ackerman emphasized that Adderall is even more dangerous when taken in combination with tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and other mood drugs, such as Prozac. If the medication had actually been prescribed to them, they would know that. However, most take it for the purpose of better focusing and around half of them combine the drug with alcohol.
It’s a “major risk”, according to Justin Sharpe, the Master of Public Health (MPH) at Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center. Using the drug without a prescription from a medical health professional risks side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, hypertension, loss of appetite, and even cardiac arrest. Not to mention it might pave the way to abuse of other addictive substances.
Unfortunately, young adults take it, see it works, and the continue on misusing the drug. That is how abuse starts and, like any other drug, it can lead to addiction.
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