Adderall Abuse in College Students

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication that doctors usually give to people suffering from ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a central nervous system stimulant amphetamine drug and is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high risk of drug abuse and addiction.

There is a myth that taking Adderall to stay alert and focused while studying will make you smarter, and students turn to Adderall to make them better at studying, but it does not work that way. Some attention benefits and mood boosts occur from having abused Adderall, but it does not improve actual brain function and skills, like reading comprehension and memory, for those who do not need to take this medication.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

What Percentage of College Students Take Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication but is often abused as a “study drug” on college campuses. In a study done by Ohio State University, it was estimated that one in six college students abuse Adderall and have used Adderall or other prescription stimulants, including Dexedrine or Ritalin, without a prescription for this medication for studying, weight loss, or partying purposes.

Most students get these drugs from fellow students. A University of Maryland study showed that over 60% of students had been offered Adderall at least once while in school, and about half of them took the drug.

Many students also find drugs in their houses to abuse. See some of the most common drugs found in the household here:

Risks and Side Effects of Adderall

Adderall is not a harmless, risk-free drug. The short-term issues and effects of Adderall abuse, especially when taken outside of prescription uses, include:

  • Psychiatric issues
  • Irregular heartbeat and cardiac issues
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Personality changes
  • Dry mouth
  • Restlessness/inability to sit still
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Impotence
  • Developing a substance use disorder (addiction)

Taking Adderall to chase away a hangover after partying can actually interact negatively with the substances in your system, causing alcohol poisoning, overdose, and blackouts that come with high-risk behavior. The long-term adverse effects of Adderall use include major health problems like:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Circulation issues
  • Malnutrition and unhealthy weight loss
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Coronary artery disease

Between 2006 and 2011, rates of Adderall abuse and the number of emergency room visits by college students rose by 156%, and calls to poison control hotlines also increased due to the illegal misuse of prescription drugs.

If you believe you may have an addiction to amphetamine drugs, it is safest to seek treatment in recovery programs designed explicitly with medical detox programs for prescription stimulant abuse to help your body slowly taper off these medications.

Signs and Symptoms of Adderall Addiction

Signs of Adderall abuse and symptoms of Adderall drug addiction include:

  • Excessive weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Social withdrawal, secretive behavior, relationship problems
  • Excitability, being overly talkative, having incomplete thoughts, mania
  • Disorientation, memory issues, exhaustion
  • Frequently taking pills
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Financial difficulties
  • Exhaustion, sleeping for long periods
  • Being unable to go through the day without wanting to take Adderall
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they try and cut back or quit

Adderall and Undiagnosed ADHD

People with undiagnosed ADHD have brains with low dopamine function, and stimulants can help alleviate these issues, helping with:

  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Listening and following directions
  • Organizing and getting things done
  • Better attention spans, concentration, and focus
  • Creating a calming sensation

The best way to get a safe prescription that is right for you is to talk to a doctor. They will prescribe medications like Adderall that will work best for your unique condition while helping you avoid potentially dangerous side effects and substance use issues by monitoring your continued use.

Treatment for Adderall Addiction at WhiteSands

At WhiteSands’ Florida drug rehab, we offer numerous addiction treatment programs, including outpatient rehab and inpatient rehab, and a medically assisted treatment (MAT) detox program that will help you stop using Adderall safely and comfortably.

To help with prescription drug abuse withdrawal symptoms, we can provide safe and effective medical care, prescription pharmaceutical medications, and therapy as you detox. This way, you will be comfortable while issues like mental distress, insomnia, and achiness are mitigated. You may begin a dual diagnosis treatment at this time as well if you are suffering from co-occurring mental illnesses, like PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, or other mood disorders.

At WhiteSands’ rehab facility, you will never be alone in your ongoing recovery, as we believe in providing life-long support to our patients. Call us today to learn more about our luxury inpatient programs and flexible outpatient treatments for substance use disorders.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.