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School and work pressure results in stimulant abuse by students

A survey from last year sponsored by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids found that almost one out of every five college students abuses stimulant medications like Adderall, Vyvanse and Ritalin. These prescription stimulants are also being abused by one in seven people who are of similar age but are not in college.

According to one of the directors for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the typical abuser of prescription stimulants is male, enrolled in college and has a very hectic schedule. He is juggling school, work and his social life. However, his grade point average is just slightly lower than those who don’t abuse the drugs.

This is in contrast to the common description of the prescription stimulant abuser. The director said, “The profile that emerges is less that of an academic ‘goof-off’ who abuses prescription stimulants to make up for lost study time than a stressed out multitasker who is burning the candle at both ends and trying to keep up.”

The study, which was conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies, conducted the survey on over 1,600 students, of which about 1,000 were in college. The survey found that half used the drugs to improve their academic performance or to help them study. About 40 percent took the stimulants so that they would stay awake. Twenty-five percent said that they took the drugs in order to improve their job performance.

The withdrawal symptoms of these stimulant medications can be severe. They can include depression, social anxiety and paranoia. For parents who believe their child might be hooked on these drugs, they can look for red flags, such as manic behavior or anxiety, difficulty concentrating, dilated pupils and not sleeping for days.

It is a crime to sell, give away or otherwise distribute prescription medications. If you or your child is facing such charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Source: HealthDay, “ADHD Stimulant Abuse Common Among Young Adults,” Tara Haelle, accessed Sep. 17, 2015

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