Adderall Abuse on the Rise in Texas Universities
The rising number of cases of Adderall abuse in the United States has become a top matter of concern among key players in the education industry, especially among American colleges and universities.
Originally designed for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) among a very small minority of people, Adderall has become an extremely popular study drug at college campuses today. Many research studies have been done to understand the nature and the size of the problem, for example:
- In a study published on ResearchGate, Mathias B Forrester noted that despite its medical benefits, Adderall is one of the most commonly abused stimulants.
- Anthony Estolano noted that use of prescription drugs, Adderall in particular, has become a common occurrence among college students.
- Statistic Brain reported that 34.5 % of college students admitted to using Adderall and that 6.4% of full-time college students use Adderall on a weekly basis.
- A study carried out by Brigham Young University revealed that Adderall is the most commonly abused stimulant among the college students.
Texas schools are no exception.
Researcher Daniel Armbruster reports that at Texas A & M, Adderall is handed out like candy and is more available than coffee.
Similarly, the University of Texas at Austin has noted with concern an increasing number of cases of Adderall abuse among its students.
Texas State University, while stating that the drug is not openly available there, admits that if one is keen enough you will nevertheless see their students using the drug.
Having said that, it could be concluded that the increased use of Adderall poses serious challenges to the present and future welfare of the college and university students in Texas.
Why Texas Students Abuse Adderall
There are various reasons why all students abuse Adderall.
To start with, non-prescribed students use the drug in order to improve their ability to cram for upcoming examinations. The use of the drug is more common among courses perceived to be more difficult and technical.
In this light, university authorities have contemplated branding the abuse of the drug as a form of academic dishonesty. This is because it gives one an unfair advantage compared to others.
Second, some students abuse Adderall to control their body to deal with the pressure that comes with education and work-study balance. Many use Adderall to wake up in the morning, to overcome the feeling of being tired or mentally foggy, to lose weight, and to induce relaxation.
Lastly, cases of physical and sexual abuse among students further expose the student to the temptation of using Adderall.
Factors Contributing to the Abuse of Adderall
There are several factors that create a fertile ground for the abuse of Adderall. To start with, Wade Goodwayn of the Center for Students in Recovery observed how students in recovery constantly interact with the scholarship athletes. The interaction leads to cases where the professional athletes are influenced by the recovering students who have exposure to Adderall.
Second, the use of social media has a profound effect on drug use behavior and behavior modification. Tweets and Facebook posts make light of and endorse the use of Adderall as a normal practice in college. The highest number of tweeters using the word Adderall are college and university students in the northeast and southern regions.
Third, unlike hard drugs such as cocaine, Adderall abuse is not considered dangerous or life threatening in any way (even though recent research suggests otherwise). Consequently, the drug is easily accessible and no one flinches when selling it to their friends. A study by Sulfolk reveals that 53.5 % get their Adderall from friends.
The University of Texas at Austin says that common sources of Adderall include friends, family, drug dealers, and the use of a physical prescription over the internet. It should be noted that placing a ban on Adderall abuse has minimal or no effect on its use.
Lastly, the University of Texas at Austin noted that factors favoring the use of Adderall are its relatively low cost, anticipated positive effects, and perceived safety. Furthermore, the desire for prolonged partying among college and university students increases motivation for the use of the drug.
Effects of Adderall Abuse
The side effects of long-term Adderall abuse by non-ADHD users include:
- loss of appetite
- increased risk of heart attack
- death (rare).
In contrast to popular perception, withdrawing from a long-term addiction to Adderall is not easy – it can take many months, and relapse is common.
Fixing The Problem
The correct response to the Adderall abuse problem is as follows:
- Educational institutions should perform their own investigations into the nature and extent of Adderall addiction/abuse problem in Texas schools.
- Educational institutions should provide information about the dangers of Adderall abuse to every incoming freshman.
- To wean themselves from a long-term addiction to Adderall, students should be encouraged to attend rehabilitation centers and support groups near the campus where they can get experienced and professional help.