Drug abuse in Indiana is reaching new heights. Several parts of the state are currently coping with the worst outbreak of drug addiction, abuse, and related injury/disease. The United States as a whole is also witnessing the decreasing age with which young adults begin abusing drugs. When these issues are combined with the atmosphere of college life it can be disastrous or even deadly. Current University campuses are battling a growing drug problem; worse than they have ever witnessed. This is the result of young adults who start abusing drugs at a young age, which has them entering college with an abuse problem; if not an addiction already. When they get to college, where substance abuse is almost encouraged, they can dive head first into a nasty addiction very easily. Indiana, where substance abuse and addiction have forced the governor to call for a state of emergency, campuses are battling a rising problem with stimulant misuse.

Stimulants

The most common stimulants, and the ones being abused by Indiana college students, are the ones prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder. The brand names of these drugs are Adderall, Ritalin Vyvanse, and Concerta. The purpose of these drugs is to make an individual, with ADD or ADHD, more capable of concentration, focus and work better and longer. The effects of these drugs are enticing to young adults who are worried about test scores. These students believe that the added focus and concentration will help them score higher on their exams. This leads them to borrow, purchase, or even steal the medications from friends, roommates, or strangers. The truth is that studies have yet to show any correlation between misuse of these medications and improved test scores. What studies have shown is that the repeated misuse of ADD or ADHD medications can result in increased stress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, hallucinations, and even addiction. The consequences can be severe mentally, physically, and academically.

Gustavas Survey: Nobel Conference, “Addiction: Exploring the Science and Experience of an Equal Opportunity Condition”

A recent survey was commissioned by the Gustavus Adolphus College to examine the misuse of powerful stimulant medication. The survey found that students misuse the drugs for increased concentration and making up missed classes. The students also admitted to taking the drugs despite knowing the danger of doing so and understanding the misusing the drug is understood as cheating. The study also revealed that 73% of students believed that professors, administrators and their parents are aware of the drugs misuse for academic purposes. The study uncovered that a growing number of students have been pressured by friends for their medication and to take it to improve their scores. Roughly 24% of students were at one point pressured by friends to misuse the drug to increase test scores.

Indiana and Parents

A survey conducted by the Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review found that one in six college students are misusing prescription stimulants, which is roughly 3.5 million students. What are parents, physicians, and colleges to do about the growing problem with stimulant misuse? It is imperative that parents are mindful of their own medications. Many young adults steal prescription drugs from their own medicine cabinets. They should also be cautious about treating their child with prescription drugs. Physicians should be diligent and conservative with their prescriptions. They should also seek drug abuse and addiction training to prevent any issues from arising. Parents should be very involved in their child’s lives; even when they leave for college. Students should be mindful of the people they associate with. A ‘friend’ how pressures you into taking drugs is not a friend at all.

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