Abusing Adderall During University Exams

A team at Brigham Young University monitored all Tweets in a six month period and noted any tweet that mentioned the drug Adderall. Aside from professional advertising, the number of tweets remained the same, mostly from college students…until it was time for exams. Then the number of tweets doubled, with students singing its praises and telling their Twitter followers about how much Adderall was helping them study and concentrate and even become more efficient at managing different projects.

The National Institute of Health reports that Adderall is prescribed to about 14 million people in the United States, most between the ages of 20-39. Not the typical child with ADHD that most of us think about when we consider Adderall. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies Adderall as a Schedule 2 drug, putting it in the same classification as cocaine and meth, which means that it’s closely monitored.

But most college students that are using Adderall are obtaining it illegally, maintaining that it is fairly easy to get and relatively inexpensive. And most maintain that it helps them with their studies. But are they unnecessarily putting their health at risk?

Adderall can have a number of side effects, especially to those who are not meant to take it. Adderall can be habit-forming and have extreme side effects for those with problems managing anxiety. And in many of the Tweets monitored by the BYU researchers, many students are using Adderall with at least one other substance including alcohol, marijuana, and even coke or meth. The mixing of drugs can have unintended consequences for overdose and accidents.

But the major problem right now is how all this abuse is affecting those people that actually need Adderall to concentrate at all. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the DEA are very concerned about the rise in abuse of Adderall and are putting caps on the number of prescriptions that can be issued. This could cause problems for legitimate, legal users. What is the answer? Obtain Adderall legally, use it properly and help end the idea that Adderall is just as safe as a cup of coffee.

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