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The Abuse of ADHD Medications Among College Students

The Abuse of ADHD Medications Among College Students

Sample Answer 

The Abuse of ADHD Medications Among College Students

One in every six college students abuses ADHD prescription drugs, mainly Adderall and Ritalin, among others. Such students run legal and health risks for the off-prescription use of these drugs, which are classified as Schedule II controlled substances (Burgard et al., 2013). Many college students take the drugs for the high they give when taken in elevated dosages. When the drugs are crushed and then snorted or injected, the euphoric feeling they produce and exaggerated self-confidence can lead to a person’s dependence on them. This comes with side effects, including irregular heartbeat, a dangerously high BP, breathing difficulties, tremors, seizures, and mood disorders. Repeated use can cause paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, confusion, and stroke (Wilens Morrison, 2011).

To prevent the abuse of ADHD drugs, colleges should stop the distribution of educational materials on ADHD. This is because the said materials have been shown to oversell the medications’ benefits while minimizing the risks (Arria & DuPont, 2010). Secondly, school personnel and faculty members should be provided with in-service training on the magnitude and nature of the ADHD epidemic and the abuse crisis. Colleges should also offer parents programs that provide information on the epidemic and encourage them to monitor the use and abuse of ADHD drugs and, more so, by teen students. Lastly, students should be encouraged to report those that abuse the drugs to the appropriate faculty for intervention to be made. This should follow the implementation into the college policies, the inclusion of the use of the drug as an equivalent to academic dishonesty that comes with harsh consequences. Doing so will discourage students from abusing ADHD drugs (Arria et al., 2010).

The use of ADHD drugs does not give students an unfair advantage as the drugs have not been scientifically proven to result in improved academic performance. The drugs can enable a student to stay awake longer but have no lasting academic performance improvements (McIntosh, 2015). In fact, there is compelling evidence by Advokat et al. (2011) that ADHD medications cause deterioration in social-emotional and academic performance with time. More specifically, ADHD drug abuse often results in detrimental and pronounced effects on emotional outcomes in girls and academic performance in boys.

Works Cited

Advokat, Claire, Sean M. Lane, and Chunqiao Luo. “College students with and without ADHD: Comparison of self-report of medication usage, study habits, and academic achievement.” Journal of attention disorders 15.8 (2011): 656-666..

Arria, Amelia M., and Robert L. DuPont. “Nonmedical prescription stimulant use among college students: why we need to do something and what we need to do.” Journal of addictive diseases 29.4 (2010): 417-426.

Burgard, Daniel A., et al. “Potential trends in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug use on a college campus: wastewater analysis of amphetamine and ritalinic acid.” Science of the Total Environment 450 (2013): 242-249..

McIntosh, J. Study finds 17% of college students misuse ADHD drugs. (2015)

Wilens, Timothy E., and Nicholas R. Morrison. “The intersection of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and substance abuse.” Current opinion in psychiatry 24.4 (2011): 280.


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The Abuse of ADHD Medications Among College Students

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that has its root cause in the nervous system, resulting in an individual’s inability to focus attention on one task, or to even remain still. Stimulants are prescribed to treat ADHD are usually strong stimulants, as they produce a paradoxical effect on individuals wit ADHD, allowing them to focus and concentrate. The abuse of these medications among college students is on the rise – why? In your discussion, address the following:

The Abuse of ADHD Medications Among College Students

The Abuse of ADHD Medications Among College Students

  • What are potential side effects of this use?
  • What can be done by students, faculty, and administration to prevent this abuse?
  • Does the abuse of ADHD medications give some students an unfair advantage?

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