The Abuse of Attention Deficit Disorder Medication on Indiana College Campuses

ADHD medication

Life after high school is a very exciting time for young adults. For many it is the first time they can strike it out on their own and forge their own path. For most teenagers in this twenty-first Century, college or some form of secondary education is the next step in their lives. College is an institution where young adults come to learn the skills, techniques, and specialties that will give them a career. This is an opportunity to create a path for a happy, healthy, and successful life. Over the last few decades, however, college life has been turned into an atmosphere of discovering one’s self by celebrating independence with drug and alcohol experimentation. This experimentation often boils over into the realm of reckless and dangerous. Drug abuse on college campuses has steadily increased and is now risking the education and lives of millions of college students. Indiana college campuses have seen a rise in prescription drug abuse (like the rest of the county); especially in the form of Attention Deficit disorder medications.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Individuals who have a hard time concentrating, sitting still, interrupt others, and act compulsively could be suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD). Most individuals feel these symptoms occasionally as being a normal human being. Individuals, who suffer from these issues on a daily basis to the point that it hinders their development, work, or social lives suffer from this disorder. The causes of this disorder remain unknown and the symptoms can overlap with other normal issues and not-so-normal disorders. Physical signs or symptoms cannot be discovered by x-ray, MRI, blood, or lab test. It is currently treated using psychiatric medications and psychotherapy. The medications’ goal is to calm the individual down and help them focus.

ADD/ADHD Medicine Abuse

There has been a growing number of students who are abusing ADD/ADHD medication on college campuses. The purpose of abusing these drugs is to help them increase their success in school. The drugs are used to keep them up longer and focus harder on the task at hand. Some individuals take them to curb hunger for weight loss and others to get high. Most individuals take the pills orally, but some crush the drug and snort them. Misusing these medications can have negative effects on the brain and body. Students believe the drugs keep them up longer and increase their focus. While students believe they are bettering their chances of higher scores ,there is no evidence that says this. No study preformed has yielded results that agree that ADD/ADHD medications increase test scores.

ADD/ADHD Effects

Like any other drug or medication abuse, it is dangerous. Taking any medication that is not intended for that individual has the possibility to have negative effects. Stimulants can drive up blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. High doses of the drugs can cause stroke. Over longer periods of use, the drug can increase anger, suspicion, paranoia, and distrust. The lack of sleep and nutrition can also have effects on your health. These stimulants can also be addictive when they are not taken as prescribed; some have had withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately students do not have to look far to get these drugs. Most have friends or friends of a friend who is more than willing to sell them. The added bonus of increased income to a ‘poor’ college student makes the situation more dangerous.

What Parents Can Do

Parents should always keep an open and honest relationship with their children to deter them from abusing drugs. Students that seem overly stressed should be calmed down or even given time off to recharge their batteries. Any parent who has a child that qualifies for this medication should exhaust any and all possible alternatives to stimulants. Many individuals believe their medications hold them back and limit their potential.

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