Why Are So Many College Students Taking Adderall? - dummies

Why Are So Many College Students Taking Adderall?

By Sarah Densmore

College students these days want highly focused study time so they can make the grades and graduate. Some of them are willing to illegally take the prescription drug Adderall to concentrate on studies.

Adderall, the same drug that’s prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is being used by an increasing number of kids as a study aid. Some research suggests that as many as 25 percent of college students have obtained and taken Adderall or another, similar stimulant drugs without a doctor’s okay.

Adderall alters brain chemistry in such a way that people who use it experience an increase in

  • Alertness

  • Concentration

  • Motivation

This upswing in cognitive clarity can last several hours — enough time for a cramming collegian to absorb the information he or she needs to pass a test or write a term paper.

Adderall is a combination of two stimulants, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The drug increases the levels of a brain cell neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine not only affects attention and learning, but also helps elevate a person’s mood, which means anyone who uses Adderall regularly is in danger of becoming addicted.

Students secure their “Addies” from classmates who’ve been prescribed the drug because they have ADHD and from dealers who’ve obtained and are selling the drug illegally.

The potential to become hooked on Adderall is real, especially for anyone who takes it regularly or frequently. Be on the lookout for signs of Adderall addiction, including feeling you have to take the medication or that you need to increase the dose to achieve the effects you’re used to.