21-Nov-14 9:00 AM  CST

Abuse of ADHD Medications on the Rise

According to recent HealthDay news article abuse of the medications used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is on the rise. The report, which states that 1 in 5 college students abuse ADHD medications, goes onto state the drugs away for students to juggle busy schedules and class loads. Medications used to treat the symptoms of ADHD, such as Ritalin and Adderall, are Class 2 controlled substances, and are highly addictive.

            College students, typically young adults between 18-25 years of age, are taking ADHD drugs as a time management tool. Students want to be able to succeed in school, but don’t want to give up the activities outside of school life that have become equated with college life. Approximately 40% of the 1600 students surveyed in a national poll stated they took ADHD medications to stay away. Others stated they used the medications to improve work and school performances. Almost 2/3 of the students surveyed felt the drugs allowed them to get better grades.

            Many of the side effects of ADHD drugs can have long lasting and worrisome effects. Because medications like, Ritalin, are considered to be stimulants, they make us more attentive, and sometimes jittery. Other side effects of ADHD drugs include, trouble sleeping, nausea and vomiting, headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, as well as irritability and significant mood chances.

            Although the abuse of these medications by patients that have had them prescribed to them is enough of an alarm, abuse among those who had not had them prescribed to them is even more disconcerting. Many students look at ADHD prescription drug use as just another study aid, one that can give them the stimulation they need. The problem is, many students do not see ADHD medications as a typical drug of abuse, yet more and more college campuses are dealing with an ever-increasing number of student abusing ADHD drugs legally and illegally.






Halle, T, “ADHD Stimulant Use Common Among Young Adults: Survey”HealthDay, 11-14-13http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/adderall-news-796/adhd-stimulant-drug-abuse-common-among-young-adults-693690.html, referenced 14.November 2014

“Tips to Reduce Adult ADHD Medication Side Effects”, WebMD, 11/2014, http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/tips-reduce-adult-adhd-medication-side-effects, referenced, 14.November 2014


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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