Adderall addiction

The rapid increase in Adderall prescriptions has dangerous consequences.

by Daily Editorial Board

The competitive and stressful nature of college often leaves students searching for a way to stay ahead of the curve. Some try to stay particularly organized and take diligent notes during class, while others look to tutors or study groups to provide themselves with additional reinforcement of class material. These are textbook methods that students are encouraged to use to stay on top of their classes and receive their ideal grades. However, an increasing number of students are using Adderall, the medication prescribed for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, to give themselves a “tunnel-like focus” and zero in on their studies, according to an article in The New York Times  published Feb. 2.

While Adderall and medications like it are helpful for those with ADHD, faking symptoms and abuse of the drugs are increasingly prevalent, particularly on college campuses. The Times article reported that according to the data company I.M.S. Health, “nearly 14 million monthly prescriptions for the condition were written for Americans ages 20 to 39 in 2011, two-and-a-half times the 5.6 million just four years before.” These numbers are troubling, especially given the addictive nature of the drug. As the general acceptance of buying and selling Adderall has grown, doctors have had a difficult time distinguishing patients who truly suffer from ADHD from those who are faking symptoms. The factors causing the rapid increase in prescriptions include everything from physicians issuing poor diagnoses, a general lack of knowledge about the drug’s addictive qualities and a student population willing to try anything to keep up with their schoolwork.

In order to reverse this dangerous trend, physicians must be more cautious before prescribing the medication, and school administrators must increase awareness about Adderall abuse and the sometimes fatal addiction that can occur.