The dangers of Adderall

Posted at: 06/13/2013 5:02 PM | Updated at: 06/13/2013 5:50 PM
By: Ray Levato |

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The alarm bell was sounded Thursday for what apparently is a new drug of choice among college students who pull “all nighters”.

The new study drug is Adderall, a stimulant that is potentially dangerous. Senator Chuck Schumer says its use is spreading. He says as many as 35% of college students use Adderall.

College graduates of a certain age might remember taking “no-doze” to stay up all night to study for the big exam. Senator Schumer is concerned that the study drug is more dangerous.

Pharmacist Ken Miller manages the outpatient pharmacy at Highland Hospital. He says Adderall is typically prescribed for those with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD. It's a stimulant in the same category as Ritalin. It can be addictive. So if Adderall is used or abused regularly, it could cause problems.

Addrell does have to be prescribed. But Miller suspects that college students either buy it off classmates who have an ADHD diagnosis and an Adderall prescription or they might take it from a family member who has been prescribed the drug.

He says if a college student were to take Adderall with coffee, they might become jittery or nervous. Many students become so sleep deprived they “crash” after they go off the drug.

News10NBC spoke with a doctor at Highland Family Medicine who treats college students about how Adderall can be addictive.

Senator Chuck Schumer said, “Adderall is not just some fun study drug. It can be addictive just like Vicodin and Oxycontin and we don't want that to happen. And people should know who needs and who should get it. But those who don't need it should find other ways like coffee or whatever helps them stay up all night and study.”

Dr. Matt Devine, Highland Family Medicine, said, “If they have x-number of pills that are extra and they're giving them away essentially like candy then that's not good either, because that can create other problems.”

News10NBC has checked with some local colleges. St. John Fisher College says they have never seen a case of Adderall abuse of campus. RIT says the presence of Adderall is infrequent on campus. If they caught someone trying to sell Adderall, they would treat it like any other illegal drug situation subject to a conduct review. News10NBC did not hear back from the UR.

Senator Schumer wants colleges to enact tougher standards for the diagnosis and monitoring of students who seek Adderall. He's urging colleges' health facilities to not prescribe Adderall on campus. An overdose of Adderall can be fatal in some cases.

If you're concerned someone you know might be abusing Adderall, click here.

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