Abuse of Prescription Drugs on College Campuses

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Abuse of Drugs on College Campuses
Today on college campuses, it is not possible to make it through college without knowing someone who has at least tried a prescription drug or recreational drug for either party uses, to help them study and keep up in school, or simply to help them get by day-to-day. Maybe you have tried them yourself? College students all across the nation are abusing substances such as Adderall, Vicodin, Oxycontin, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc. Those students who drink alcohol are more likely to use prescription drugs for non-medical uses than non-drinkers. The number one way students are getting their hands on these different drugs is from the help of their peers. As for prescriptions, others steal it from their family members in their medicine cabinets at home if it is available. Like any drug, your body will build up a tolerance when you take it regularly resulting in dependence of that drug and/or need of higher dosages. Some people even fake symptoms to get prescribed the drug needed. For example, there are multiple websites on how to fake ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) so your doctor will prescribe you Adderall.

Prescription Drugs
All this talk and we do not know what Adderall even is. Adderall (amphetamine, dextroamphetamine mixed salts) is a prescription drug that is generally prescribed to treat people with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Some side effects are euphoria, restlessness, headache, dryness of mouth, insomnia, and even anorexia because of loss of appetite. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant which can result in stroke or even death if the proper precautions are not met. This stimulant causes an increase in average heart rate about 3-6 beats per minute and an increase of average blood pressure about 2-4 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) (“Adderall”).

As for Adderall’s contribution to college students, it is known as “Brain Steroids.” Some street names for it are addy, beans, black beauties, speed, double trouble, and Christmas trees. It is also known as cheap cocaine. Many students use it for late-night studying because the drug keeps you awake and alert for long periods of time. The problem is many students will do anything to get their hands on it in fear that they cannot do work without it. On the other hand, Adderall is also used as an all-night party drug. In the party scene, this is where Adderall is known as cheap cocaine. It is either taken orally or snorted before or while drinking alcohol, allowing the user to stay awake and drink for a longer period of time causing their BAL (Blood Alcohol Level) to continue to rise without the user falling asleep. This can not only lead to hospitalization but it can also lead to death.

Adderall is being so widely used that the prescription is currently on a manufacturer backorder. The reason is because more and more people are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD and in most cases I believe it is because people are faking the symptoms and doctors are too willingly writing out prescriptions. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) only releases a certain amount of the drug at a time in an attempt to prevent illegal abuse. With the demand of Adderall being so high at this time, its presence in the market is currently scarce. A story told in Texas showed that a man drove about 80 miles away from home to fill his prescription and paid $417 for the name brand Adderall (Keith). This story comes to show how addictive this drug can be.

The central nervous system stimulant Adderall is not the only form of prescription drugs being abused. Pain killers are also being abused by students, Vicodin being one example. It is used to treat mild to severe pain with side effects of nausea, sedation, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, confusion, and possible seizure (“Vicodin”). The abuse may begin when you break a bone and are in return prescribed Vicodin for the pain....
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