The legal drug Adderall contains a safe form of the amphetamine and doctors prescribe it in treatments of ADHD. If used as prescribed, it is intended to calm a person and allow them to focus. As such, the drug is widely used and abused by college students looking to get some extra energy buzz for studies. Known as a “study drug” it is widely distributed among students to cram during finals week. It is also used simply among employers stressed to meet deadlines and increasingly among athletes and video gamers. In fact, the International Olympics, since 1968, has banned Adderall from its athletes. Most other modern athletic organizations have followed suit. The drug is banned altogether in Japan and other nations. Adderall can have legitimate uses if used as directed, but abuse creates unnaturally high levels of dopamine, the body’s sensation of pleasure and euphoria, which has the user’s brain dependent for more. They will crave larger doses to maintain their jittery high, whether for increased production, focus, or late nights. Eventually, users will report being unable to work at all without the drug and suffer extreme tiredness and depression without it. An Adderall prescription is relatively easy to obtain and abuse. While it can start as a genuine effort to improve grades, studies show that college students face an increased risk of further drug abuse. It is also possible to overdose on Adderall, resulting in fainting, panic attacks, and further heart and chest problems. According to a 2009 study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, college students using Adderall non-medically:
- 8 times more likely to use cocaine
- 3 times more likely to use marijuana
- 8 times more likely to abuse tranquilizers
- 90% identify as binge drinkers and about 50% as heavy drinkers
Adderall is so prevalent on college campuses that the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids reported in 2014 that about 20% of all American university students identified as abusing stimulants. Usually, these are prescriptions are passed out among peers, which itself can be considered a federal distribution crime with heavy fines and sentences. The supposed performance boosting benefits actually never outweigh the harmful effects to your health and are detrimental to academics long term.