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Student Life

Student medication use on the rise

The stress of being suffocated by tests, projects and papers has driven students to misuse Adderall and other prescription medications.

A study completed by Harvard Medical School in 2004, in which students from 109 colleges in America were surveyed, 6.9 percent of college students used Adderall within the last year non-medically an increase of 4.1 percent from the previous year. Usage was as high as 25 percent at some colleges.

College students across the globe are using the drug Adderall and other stimulant to keep awake and concentrate during the busy school year. Some students have also begun using the drugs to keep awake while partying at night.

University of South Florida freshmen Luis Gonzalez has been tempted to try the drug. He said.

“Sometimes at 2 a.m. when you’re only three pages in a eight-page paper, you think about it,” said Luis Gonzalez. “I haven’t done it but I have plenty of friends who have. I see it done on campus all the time.”

Adderall is used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The way it is prescribed is through a series of questions with a doctor.

Daytona Beach psychiatrist Sally MacMaster first began seeing college students around finals week come into her office trying to get prescriptions for Adderall, but now it’s year round.

“The abuse of the medication has become a problem so the prescription process is now more elaborate with more questions and a longer time frame,” said MacMaster. “Students don‘t realize how addicting it can become.”

Ramya Matthews a pharmacist at the Wal-Greens accross the street from the USF Tampa campus said Adderall and other drugs are stimulants that help people focus.

“I have some older customers who’ve been taking the medication for years and now need it in a way to stay focused,” said Matthews. We also have plenty of students from the school who pick up their medication here.”

Students should plan for stressful endings of the semester, and should be cautious of taking medicines not prescribed to them.


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