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The Smart Drug?

THE SMART DRUG? Stimulants prescribed to treat conditions like narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often abused by high school and college students looking to keep themselves awake for long hours of studying and remain alert and focused during testing. With the high rates of non-medical study drug use among these demographics, it is important to understand just what the drug does, how it affects students and what is being done to lower the rates of abuse. AS PRESCRIBED Let's first take a look at what Adderall is and, when used properly, what it treats. Adderall is a combination stimulant that works in the central nervous system. It was created to increase focus and decrease impulsiveness in people with ADHD. It has also been found to help sufferers of narcolepsy from bouts of unconsciousness and sleepiness. 7 TREATING ADHD/ADD: Estimated percentage of school-age children % with a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD Stimulants have been shown to boost and balance neurotransmitters in the brain, thus correcting the hyperactivity and lack of focus in patients with ADHD or ADD. TREATING NARCOLEPSY: Stimulants have been shown to counteract narcoleptic attacks and prevent patients from becoming unconscious. 1in 3,000 Americans who suffer from narcolepsy Even using the drug as prescribed can come with serious complications. Seizures POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Depression Hallucinations Blurred vision Trouble sleeping Uneven heartbeat Decreased appetite Muscle tics or twitches Tremors ABUSE IN ACADEMIA: THE NUMBERS 7% 3 in 10 U.S. university students who report having taken stimulants Students at University of Kentucky who admit to illegally taking a stimulant non-medically at least once NON-MEDICAL USE OF STUDY DRUGS AMONG FULL-TIME COLLEGE STUDENTS AND COLLEGE-AGE INDIVIDUALS: BY AGE GROUP AND GENDER Enrollment status College students Other 13% 6.4% Total 18-22 18-20 6.1% 3.2% 21 or 22 7% 228% Male 6.9% 3.2% Female 6% 2.9% BY SELECTED DEMOGRAPHICS Race/ethnicity Percentage Annual family income Percentage 8.6% 8.9% White Less than $20,000 1% 2.1% 2.7% 2.2% African-American $20,000-$49,999 З% Asian 4% $50,000-$74,999 Two or more races Hispanic or Latino $75,000 or more 6% $2 to 55 1in4 1in 4 30% Average street cost per pill College students who say they've been asked for stimulants College students who admit selling such stimulants to other students EDSTATES OFA to use as study drugs ww UNEc OLLAH. e TIHE AMERICA A SHORT HISTORY OF ADDERALL 1996: 2001: Shire Pharmaceuticals introduces Shire introduces Adderall XR time and patents the drug to treat ADD/ADHD. release capsule so that ADD, ADHD and narcolepsy sufferers can receive a steady dose all day long. 2005: 2010: Many active-duty military personnel are prescribed stimulants to aid them during The number of prescriptions for active-duty soldiers increases ten-fold. The Department of Defense spends $39 million on 32,000 prescriptions. times of war. 2010: 2012: 18 million Adderall prescriptions are written nationwide, suggesting that the drug is being used recreationally. Only certain doctors and nurse practitioners are licensed to prescribe the drug, making it a bit more difficult to get. Because of so many prescriptions, there is a shortage of the drug. Congress creates a ceiling for the production of the drug's main ingredient, amphetamine. Summer 2013: Today: Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer urges administrators at universities in New York to limit how many pills students can be prescribed at once, require medical history of ADD or ADHD to obtain the drug and educate students about the risks posed by study drugs. Many pharmaceutical companies making both Adderall and generic forms of it are waiting for the ceiling to be risen on amphetamine production. If the DEA does raise the allotted amount, the drug will become cheaper, especially when sold in the generic form. A GATEWAY DRUG? A great deal of research has linked stimulant abuse to progressively more dangerous substance abuse among college students. 90% Full-time college students who have abused study drugs in the past year who also abuse alcohol STUDENTS WHO TAKE STUDY DRUGS ILLEGALLY ARE MORE LIKELY TO USE OTHER ILLICIT DRUGS: Likelihood for students who abuse study drugs For students who don't Marijuana 79.9% 27.2% Cocaine 28.9% 3.6% Tranquilizers 24.5% З%. lllsatudunt Pain relievers 44.9% 8.7% ALCOHOL USE IN THE PAST MONTH AMONG FULL-TIME COLLEGE STUDENTS 18-22 AND PAST YEAR NON-MEDICAL USE OF STUDY DRUGS: Use in the past month Abused study drugs in the past year Did not abuse study drugs in the past year Alcohol use 95.4% 63% Binge alcohol use 89.5% 41.4% Heavy alcohol use 55.2% 15.6% SOURCES • • • * • • • • •

The Smart Drug?

shared by caradelany on Sep 02
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While pulling an all-nighter in order to study for mid-term may have been fueled by coffee and donuts for previous generations, today’s students are reaching for far more dangerous substances to hel...


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