1 in 6 college students misuse ADHD drugs
More and more college students are misusing stimulant medications prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study at the University of South Carolina. In fact, the research suggests that about 17 percent of college students use medications such as Ritalin and Adderall for reasons other than the ones for which they're prescribed.
Stimulants are often prescribed in order to help calm and focus ADHD patients who have a difficult time paying attention and are more hyperactive than their peers. In addition to improving these symptoms, stimulants can also improve self-esteem and social engagement. But according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there's a growing belief that stimulants can help anyone learn or improve academic performance.
The researchers found, though, that there actually may be a correlation between poor academic performance and the misuse of stimulant medications. For example, in some instances when stimulants are used recreationally, they can be dangerous because they have the effect of prolonging the length of time a student can drink. Stimulant use can also lead to malnutrition, psychological distress, and sometimes cardiovascular complications.