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Adderall use without a prescription is increasing among students

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Prescription drugs that used to be chiefly prescribed to children for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are increasingly be used and abused by adults. They've become especially popular amount high school and college students (particularly those in elite, highly competitive universities) seeking the energy they need to juggle schoolwork, extracurricular activities and often part-time jobs or internships. In addition, they face the pressure of crushing student loan debt in an economy where unemployment rates for recent college graduates has been quite high.

Perhaps the best known prescription drug for ADHD is Adderall. Unfortunately, too many young people are finding ways to obtain it without a prescription. One study found that 7.4 percent of high school seniors were using the drug without a prescription in 2013. That represents a 2 percent rise over 2009 numbers.

Adderall, like other ADHD drugs, is an amphetamine. As such, it's categorized as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act because of the potential for addiction. The chemicals in the drug also impact impulse control, which can lead to dangerous behaviors such as driving under the influence.

It's essential for colleges and universities to educate students on the dangers of misusing Adderall and other ADHD drugs. They also need to ensure that their medical and mental health staff members can spot signs of abuse of these drugs.

It's also vital for students to understand that possessing these drugs without a prescription, providing or selling them to others can land them in jail. If your student is arrested on charges involving ADHD drugs, it's essential to obtain experienced legal guidance to help protect his or her future.

Source: The Daily Illini, "Exploring the real issue behind increasing Adderall abuse," Minju Park, Oct. 18, 2016

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