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Is that why I can't get my Adderall Students chasing top grades abuse prescription pills

Posted by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 12:57 AM
  • 21 Replies


Risky rise of good-grade pills

Strained students increasingly take stimulants to study, take tests to get into top schools

Image: Dodi Sklar and her ninth-grade son, Jonathan
Lisa Wiltse for The New York Times
"Now I have to worry about this, too? Really? This shouldn't be what they need to do to get where they want to," said Dodi Sklar, after listening to her ninth-grade son, Jonathan, describe how some classmates abuse stimulants.
updated 6/9/2012 7:48:15 PM ET 2012-06-09T23:48:15

He steered into the high school parking lot, clicked off the ignition and scanned the scraps of his recent weeks. Crinkled chip bags on the dashboard. Soda cups at his feet. And on the passenger seat, a rumpled SAT practice book whose owner had been told since fourth grade he was headed to the Ivy League. Pencils up in 20 minutes.

The boy exhaled. Before opening the car door, he recalled recently, he twisted open a capsule of orange powder and arranged it in a neat line on the armrest. He leaned over, closed one nostril and snorted it.

Throughout the parking lot, he said, eight of his friends did the same thing.

The drug was not cocaine or heroin, but Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that the boy said he and his friends routinely shared to study late into the night, focus during tests and ultimately get the grades worthy of their prestigious high school in an affluent suburb of New York City. The drug did more than just jolt them awake for the 8 a.m. SAT; it gave them a tunnel focus tailor-made for the marathon of tests long known to make or break college applications.

"Everyone in school either has a prescription or has a friend who does," the boy said.

At high schools across the United States, pressure over grades and competition for college admissions are encouraging students to abuse prescription stimulants, according to interviews with students, parents and doctors. Pills that have been a staple in some college and graduate school circles are going from rare to routine in many academically competitive high schools, where teenagers say they get them from friends, buy them from student dealers or fake symptoms to their parents and doctors to get prescriptions.

Of the more than 200 students, school officials, parents and others contacted for this article, about 40 agreed to share their experiences. Most students spoke on the condition that they be identified by only a first or middle name, or not at all, out of concern for their college prospects or their school systems' reputations - and their own.

"It's throughout all the private schools here," said DeAnsin Parker, a New York psychologist who treats many adolescents from affluent neighborhoods like the Upper East Side. "It's not as if there is one school where this is the culture. This is the culture."

Observed Gary Boggs, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, "We're seeing it all across the United States."

The D.E.A. lists prescription stimulants like Adderall and Vyvanse (amphetamines) and Ritalin and Focalin (methylphenidates) as Class 2 controlled substances - the same as cocaine and morphine - because they rank among the most addictive substances that have a medical use. (By comparison, the long-abused anti-anxiety drug Valium is in the lower Class 4.) So they carry high legal risks, too, as few teenagers appreciate that merely giving a friend an Adderall or Vyvanse pill is the same as selling it and can be prosecuted as a felony.

While these medicines tend to calm people with A.D.H.D., those without the disorder find that just one pill can jolt them with the energy and focus to push through all-night homework binges and stay awake during exams afterward. "It's like it does your work for you," said William, a recent graduate of the Birch Wathen Lenox School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

But abuse of prescription stimulants can lead to depression and mood swings (from sleep deprivation), heart irregularities and acute exhaustion or psychosis during withdrawal, doctors say. Little is known about the long-term effects of abuse of stimulants among the young. Drug counselors say that for some teenagers, the pills eventually become an entry to the abuse of painkillers and sleep aids.

"Once you break the seal on using pills, or any of that stuff, it's not scary anymore - especially when you're getting A's," said the boy who snorted Adderall in the parking lot. He spoke from the couch of his drug counselor, detailing how he later became addicted to the painkiller Percocet and eventually heroin.

Paul L. Hokemeyer, a family therapist at Caron Treatment Centers in Manhattan, said: "Children have prefrontal cortexes that are not fully developed, and we're changing the chemistry of the brain. That's what these drugs do. It's one thing if you have a real deficiency - the medicine is really important to those people - but not if your deficiency is not getting into Brown."

The number of prescriptions for A.D.H.D. medications dispensed for young people ages 10 to 19 has risen 26 percent since 2007, to almost 21 million yearly, according to IMS Health, a health care information company - a number that experts estimate corresponds to more than two million individuals. But there is no reliable research on how many high school students take stimulants as a study aid. Doctors and teenagers from more than 15 schools across the nation with high academic standards estimated that the portion of students who do so ranges from 15 percent to 40 percent.

"They're the A students, sometimes the B students, who are trying to get good grades," said one senior at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, a Philadelphia suburb, who said he makes hundreds of dollars a week selling prescription drugs, usually priced at $5 to $20 per pill, to classmates as young as freshmen. "They're the quote-unquote good kids, basically."

The trend was driven home last month to Nan Radulovic, a psychotherapist in Santa Monica, Calif. Within a few days, she said, an 11th grader, a ninth grader and an eighth grader asked for prescriptions for Adderall solely for better grades. From one girl, she recalled, it was not quite a request.

"If you don't give me the prescription," Dr. Radulovic said the girl told her, "I'll just get it from kids at school."

Keeping everyone happy
Madeleine surveyed her schedule of five Advanced Placement classes, field hockey and several other extracurricular activities and knew she could not handle it all. The first physics test of the year - inclines, friction, drag - loomed ominously over her college prospects. A star senior at her Roman Catholic school in Bethesda, Md., Madeleine knew a friend whose grades had gone from B's to A's after being prescribed Ritalin, so she asked her for a pill.

She got a 95. Thereafter, Madeleine recalled, she got Adderall and Vyvanse capsules the rest of the year from various classmates - not in exchange for money, she said, but for tutoring them in calculus or proofreading their English papers.

"Can I get a drink of water?" Madeleine said she would ask the teacher in one class, before excusing herself and heading to the water fountain. Making sure no one was watching, she would remove a 40-milligram Vyvanse capsule from her purse and swallow it. After 30 minutes, the buzz began, she said: laser focus, instant recall and the fortitude to crush any test in her path.

"People would have never looked at me and thought I used drugs like that - I wasn't that kid," said Madeleine, who has just completed her freshman year at an Ivy League college and continues to use stimulants occasionally. "It wasn't that hard of a decision. Do I want only four hours of sleep and be a mess, and then underperform on the test and then in field hockey? Or make the teachers happy and the coach happy and get good grades, get into a good college and make my parents happy?"

Madeleine estimated that one-third of her classmates at her small school, most of whom she knew well, used stimulants without a prescription to boost their scholastic performance. Many students across the United States made similar estimates for their schools, all of them emphasizing that the drugs were used not to get high, but mostly by conscientious students to work harder and meet ever-rising academic expectations.

These estimates can be neither confirmed nor refuted because little data captures this specific type of drug misuse. A respected annual survey financed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "Monitoring the Future," reports that abuse of prescription amphetamines by 10th and 12th graders nationally has actually dipped from the 1990s and is remaining relatively steady at about 10 percent.

However, some experts note that the survey does not focus on the demographic where they believe such abuse is rising steadily - students at high-pressure high schools - and also that many teenagers barely know that what they often call "study drugs" are in fact illegal amphetamines.

"Isn't it just like a vitamin?" asked one high school junior from Eastchester, a suburb of New York.

Liz Jorgensen, a licensed addiction specialist who runs Insight Counseling in Ridgefield, Conn., said her small center had treated "at least 50 or 60" high school students from southern Connecticut this school year alone who had abused prescription stimulants for academics. Ms. Jorgensen said some of those teenagers landed in rehab directly from the stimulants or, more often, grew comfortable with prescription drugs in general and began abusing prescription painkillers like OxyContin.

A spokesman for Shire, which manufactures Vyvanse and Adderall's extended-release capsules, said studies had shown no link between prescribed use of those drugs and later abuse.

Dr. Jeff Jonas, Shire's senior vice president for research and development, said that the company was greatly concerned about the misuse of its stimulants but that the rate was very small. "I'm not aware of any systematic data that suggests there's a widespread problem," he said. "You can always find people who testify that it happens."

Students who sell prescription stimulants to their classmates focus on their burdens and insecurities. One girl who sells to fellow students at Long Beach High School on Long Island said: "These kids would get in trouble if they don't do well in school. When people take tests, it's immediately, 'Who am I getting Adderall from?' They're always looking for it."

Every school identified in this article was contacted regarding statements by its students and stimulant abuse in general. Those that responded generally said that they were concerned about some teenagers turning to these drugs, but that their numbers were far smaller than the students said.

David Weiss, superintendent of Long Beach Public Schools, said the survey his district used to gauge student drug use asked about only prescription medications in general, not stimulants specifically.

"It has not been a surface issue for us - we're much more conscious of alcohol or other drug use," Mr. Weiss said in a telephone interview. "We haven't had word that it's a widespread issue."

Douglas Young, a spokesman for the Lower Merion School District outside Philadelphia, said prescription stimulant abuse was covered in various student-wellness initiatives as well as in the 10th-grade health curriculum. Mr. Young expressed frustration that many parents seemed oblivious to the problem.

"It's time for a serious wake-up call," Mr. Young said. "Straight A's and high SAT scores look great on paper, but they aren't reflective measures of a student's health and well-being. We need to better understand the pressures and temptations, and ultimately we need to embrace new definitions of student success. For many families and communities, that's simply not happening."

Fooling the doctors
During an interview in March, the dealer at Lower Merion High reached into his pocket and pulled out the container for his daily stash of the prescription stimulants Concerta and Focalin: a hollowed-out bullet. Unlike his other products - marijuana and heroin, which come from higher-level dealers - his amphetamines came from a more trusted, and trusting, source, he said.

"I lie to my psychiatrist - I expressed feelings I didn't really have, knowing the consequences of it," he said, standing in a park a few miles from the high school. "I tell the doctor, 'I find myself very distracted, and I feel this really deep pain inside, like I'm anxious all the time,' or something like that."

He coughed out a chuckle and added proudly, "Generally, if you keep playing the angsty-teen role, you'll get something good."

Christine, a junior sitting nearby, said she followed the well-known lines to get her drugs directly and legally, a script for scripts. "I'm not able to focus on schoolwork," she said in a mockingly anxious voice. "I'm constantly looking out the window." Although she often uses the drugs herself, snorting them for a faster and more intense effect, she said she preferred to save them for when her customers crave them most.

"Right before everybody took the PSATs, a bunch of kids went to the bathroom to snort their Addies," she said.

This is one of the more vexing problems with stimulants in high schools, experts said - the drugs enter the schools via students who get them legally, if not legitimately.

Older A.D.H.D. drugs required low doses every few hours, and schools, not wanting students to carry the drugs themselves, had the school nurse hold and dispense the pills. Newer long-lasting versions like Adderall XR and Vyvanse allow parents to give children a single dose in the morning, often unaware that the pills can go down a pants pocket as easily as the throat. Some students said they took their pills only during the week and gave their weekend pills to friends.

The mother of one high school freshman in Westchester County said she would open the kitchen cabinet every morning and watch her son take his prescribed dose of Ritalin. She noticed one day that the capsule was strangely airy and held it up to the light. It was empty.

"There were a few times we were short in the month, and I couldn't understand why," recalled the woman, whose son was in eighth grade at the time. "It never dawned on me until I found those empty capsules, and then I started discovering the little packets of powder. He was selling it to other kids."

A number of teenagers interviewed laughed at the ease with which they got some doctors to write prescriptions for A.D.H.D. The disorder's definition requires inattentiveness, hyperactivity or impulse control to present "clinically significant impairment" in at least two settings (school and home, for example), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Crucially, some of this impairment must have been in evidence by age 7; a proper diagnosis for a teenager claiming to have A.D.H.D., several doctors said, requires interviewing parents, teachers and others to confirm that the problems existed long before.

Many youngsters with prescriptions said their doctors merely listened to their stories and took out their prescription pads. Dr. Hilda R. Roque, a primary-care physician in West New York, N.J., said she never prescribed A.D.H.D. medicine but knew many doctors who did. She said many parents could push as hard for prescriptions as their children did, telling her: "My child is not doing well in school. I understand there are meds he can take to make him smarter."

"To get a prescription for Adderall was the Golden Ticket - it really was," said William, the recent graduate of Birch Wathen in Manhattan.

A high school senior in Connecticut who has used his friend's Adderall for school said: "These are academic steroids. But usually, parents don't get the steroids for you."

Watch the downside
As with the steroids taken by athletes, the downside of prescription stimulants appears after they provide the desired short-term competitive benefits. This was the case with a recent graduate of McLean High School in Virginia, one of the top public schools in the Washington area.

Late in his sophomore year, the boy wanted some help to raise his B average - far from what top colleges expected, especially from a McLean student. So he told his psychologist what she needed to hear for a diagnosis of A.D.H.D. - even gazing out the window during the appointment for effect - and was soon getting 30 pills of Adderall every month, 10 milligrams each. They worked. He focused late into the night studying, concentrated better during exams and got an A-minus average for his junior year.

"I wanted to do everything I could to get into the quote-unquote right school," he recalled recently.

As senior year began, when another round of SATs and one last set of good grades could put him over the top, the boy said he still had trouble concentrating. The doctor prescribed 30 milligrams a day. When college applications hit, he bought extra pills for $5 apiece from a girl in French class who had fooled her psychiatrist, too, and began taking several on some days.

The boy said that as his A-minus average continued through senior year, no one suspected that "a kid who went to Bible camp" and had so improved his grades could be abusing drugs. By the time he was accepted and had enrolled at a good but not great college, he was up to 300 milligrams a day - constantly taking more to stave off the inevitable crash.

One night, after he had taken about 400 milligrams, his heart started beating wildly. He began hallucinating and then convulsing. He was rushed to the emergency room and wound up spending seven months at a drug rehabilitation center.

To his surprise, two of 20 fellow patients there had also landed in rehab solely from abusing stimulants in high school.

"No one seems to think that it's a real thing - adults on the outside looking in," the boy said. "The other kids in rehab thought we weren't addicts because Adderall wasn't a real drug. It's so underestimated."

'No way you'd notice'
The Sklar family lives near the top of a daunting hill in Ardsley, a comfortable suburb north of New York City. Ardsley High School sends dozens of graduates every year to Ivy League-caliber colleges. When students there use Facebook, they all know that its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, once walked the same halls.

At their kitchen table after school last month, Dodi Sklar listened as her ninth-grade son, Jonathan, described how some classmates already abused stimulants - long before SATs and college applications. An accomplished student who said he would never join them, Jonathan described the ease with which he could.

"There's no way you'd notice - that's why so many kids are doing it," he told his mother. "I could say I'm going for a run, call someone I know who does it, get some pills from them, take them, come home and work. Just do it. You'd be just glad that I was studying hard."

His mother sighed.

"As a parent you worry about driving, you worry about drinking, you worry about all kinds of health and mental issues, social issues," she said. "Now I have to worry about this, too? Really? This shouldn't be what they need to do to get where they want to."

Asked if the improper use of stimulants was cheating, students were split. Some considered that the extra studying hours and the heightened focus during exams amounted to an unfair advantage. Many countered that the drugs "don't give you the answers" and defended their use as a personal choice for test preparation, akin to tutoring.

One consensus was clear: users were becoming more common, they said, and some students who would rather not take the drugs would be compelled to join them because of the competition over class rank and colleges' interest.

A current law student in Manhattan, who said he dealt Adderall regularly while at his high school in Sarasota, Fla., said that insecurity was a main part of his sales pitch: that those students "would feel at a huge disadvantage," he said.

William, the recent Birch Wathen graduate, said prescription stimulants became a point of contention when a girl with otherwise middling grades suddenly improved her SAT score.

"There was an uproar among kids - some people were really proud of her, and some kids were really jealous and mad," he recalled. "I don't remember if she had a prescription, but she definitely took more than was prescribed. People would say, 'You're so smart,' and she'd say, 'It wasn't all me.'"

One sophomore at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, Calif., is unsure what his future holds. Enrolled at one of the top high schools on the West Coast, he said he tried a friend's Adderall this semester but disliked the sensation of his heart beating rapidly for hours. He vowed never to do it again.

But as he watches upperclassmen regularly abuse stimulants as they compete for top college slots, he is not quite sure.

"Junior and senior year is a whole new ballgame," the boy said. "I promised myself I wouldn't take it, but that can easily, easily change. I can be convinced."

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by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 12:57 AM
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by Ruby Member on Jun. 10, 2012 at 4:57 AM

High levels of Dopamine in the brain often cause us to lose our contact with reality. As though living in a science-fiction movie, we begin to develop unusual if not bizarre ideas about what is happening to us. With our paranoia, we may experience delusions (false beliefs) of persecution or may think we have super powers (delusions of grandiosity) and can predict the future or read minds. High levels of Dopamine are found in Schizophrenia, drug intoxication, and other psychotic conditions where the ability to distinguish the inner world from the real world is impaired.


Stress is one of the major causes of high dopamine levels in a person's system. Dopamine is an integral part of the human "fight or flight" response. This response is made to prepare a human in a stressful situation to either fight or run away. One of the ways the body does this is by releasing dopamine. The body does not always have to be in a threatened state for the fight or flight response to be activated. Stress also activates this response. As stress activates the response, the levels of dopamine are increased, resulting in high levels of the neurotransmitter.

(source: What Causes High Levels of Dopamine?)

The term psychosis is frequently applied to abnormal conditions of the mind in which people lose contact with reality, experiencing delusional beliefs or hallucinations, as is frequently observed in the behavior of schizophrenics. The brain chemical dopamine acts a signaling molecule or neurotransmitter, facilitating the transfer of information between brain cells in the form of electrical impulses. High brain dopamine levels have been associated with psychosis, particularly in patients who suffer from schizophrenia.

Amphetamine and cocaine drug abuse increases brain dopamine levels, inducing symptoms similar to those suffered by schizophrenics during psychotic episodes, highlighting a link between dopamine and psychosis, according to a March 2008 article published in the "Journal of Clinical Psychiatry."

by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 5:02 AM

I used/sold in college to help focusing with study and FT work. It was surprisingly common for students regardless of social standing, or background.

by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM



Generic Name: Amphetamine Salt Combo

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a medicine used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness).


  • What is the most important information I should know about Adderall?

    Adderall has a high potential for abuse. Taking Adderall for long periods of time may lead to extreme emotional and physical dependence.


    Taking Adderall differently than how your doctor prescribes it may cause sudden death and serious heart problems. In general, Adderall should not be used in children or adults with heart defects.

    People diagnosed with psychosis who take Adderall may be at higher risk for worsened behavior and thinking problems.

    It is not known if long-term use of Adderall will suppress growth in children. Therefore, your doctor should monitor the growth and weight gain of your child.

    People with moderately or severely high blood pressure should not take Adderall. If you have mildly high blood pressure and take Adderall, talk to your doctor about monitoring your blood pressure and pulse.

    People diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome who take Adderall may be at higher risk for worsened motor and phonic tics (tics that affect movements and sounds).

    Adderall may impair your ability to perform potentially dangerous activities, such as operating machinery or driving vehicles.

  • Who should not take Adderall?

    Do not take Adderall if you have heart disease or hardening of the arteries, moderate to severe high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, an eye disease called glaucoma, are very anxious, tense, or agitated, have a history of drug abuse, are taking a type of medication called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or have taken one within the past 14 days, or if you are sensitive, allergic, or had a reaction to other stimulant medicines.


    Adderall is not recommended for use in children <3 years old.

    by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM


    Adderall misuse ramps up during finals

    Students talk about stimulant's use for fun & study

    By Chelsea Robinson

    Photo Credits: Photo by Kevin Briggs.
    Photo Caption: The powder within a 25mg Adderall capsule lies separated by an Ohio University student to halve the dose he takes before staying up into the late hours of night studying and working on pre-finals projects. Strictly taking it to enhance his ability to focus on studies, the student states, "The second I start abusing it or taking it recreationally is the day I need to stop using it altogether."

    (Student sources in this article requested that their real names not be used, since their information involves incriminating use or sale of prescription drugs.)

    "Without Adderall, I'm pretty much useless," explains Paul, a sophomore in the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, as he stares down at his tapping foot. A half-empty bottle of Adderall XR rests on the desk to his right.

    Adderall is legally prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, according to the Federal Drug Administration. First introduced in 1996 by Shire Pharmaceuticals, Adderall is a daily central nervous system stimulant medication composed of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The long-used street name for amphetamine is speed.

    In recent years, Adderall has taken over college campuses, including OU. During finals week, when students are looking for ways to stay awake and study, the drug is omnipresent. Many students use it as a study aid, some use it before tests, and some use it to stay awake when they've had too much to drink.

    Paul described what he has observed through his experience with the drug culture in Athens and at OU. "A lot of people use it to party. People who don't need it tend to take a low dose, which helps them concentrate some," he said. "But people who take it to abuse it - to get the effects of amphetamine - take a high dose."

    Paul said he has been legally prescribed Adderall since he was 12, and is familiar with the drug and its consumption, both by those with prescriptions and those without.

    Using Adderall comes at a price, both for those prescribed the drug and for those looking to buy some on the street.

    Paul explained how he looks at Adderall's value. "If I would sell it, I would sell it for an exorbitant amount of money," he said. "It's worth somewhere around three to four dollars for a 25-milligram pill. But that isn't enough for me, because I need it to function."

    Christopher, also a sophomore, admitted that he deals Adderall, marijuana and other illegal drugs to fellow students. He said he mostly handles pot and occasionally various painkillers and Xanax. But come finals week, Adderall becomes his top-selling product.

    "I buy it from a guy who's prescribed, 10 or 20 pills at a time, then a couple people will buy five pills, and then sell it to their friends," Christopher said. "So there's usually a few middlemen involved."

    According to the online ADD/ADHD Help Center, methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and amphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall) abuse produces behavioral and psychological effects similar to cocaine.

    Yet, for the vast majority of OU students, the drug is used primarily on a need-to-use basis rather than habitually, according to Christopher.

    "No one person is coming to me on a weekly basis asking for Adderall. They aren't addicted," Christopher explained. "My customers aren't idiots, and they also aren't overloaded with work. They're slackers. They wait until the last minute (to study) because they're distracted or lazy."

    So what happens when someone goes through college using this so-called study drug on a regular basis?

    Cole is a fifth-year senior, blond, tall, very involved with several student organizations. He maintains a 3.4 GPA.

    He twirls his hair and taps his foot, restless and stuttering, seemingly unable to finish his thoughts. "I mean, I started using Adderall my freshman year, and I've currently been taking it three to four nights a week," he acknowledged.

    "When I write a paper on Adderall, it flows better, it's more concise, and it takes me half the time," Cole explained.

    However, students yanking their bodies back and forth between taking these drugs and not taking them acknowledge that at some point they start noticing that it's not so good for their brain chemistry or physical comfort.

    Cole reluctantly admitted, "I'd have to say the worst thing about it is the come-down. It makes you just angry, and sweaty, and jittery. I think because it is an amphetamine, it's my small way of going through withdrawal." 

    WHY HAS THE USE OF THIS DRUG become so common in campus culture? Dr. Christina Sheely is an emergency room surgeon at Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, home of the University of Texas. "There are many more children diagnosed with ADD than even a few years ago," she said. "I don't think this is due to overprescribing, but rather better awareness and diagnostic tools."

    Dr. Sheely described the process of diagnosing ADD and prescribing medication. "Usually, the parents or teacher will voice a concern. The child is usually screened by their pediatrician with a standardized test of questions for the parents, teacher and sometimes the child, depending on their age. Then, if the pediatrician feels comfortable with prescribing the medication, they start the child on a low dose. Sometimes, the doctor will refer to a psychiatrist for medication prescribing."

    However, as an amphetamine, Adderall use can be dangerous for those without a prescription, and just like with any prescription drug, can be misused by those who are prescribed the drug.

    Dr. Sheely listed the main side effects of Adderall use. "The main side effect is loss of appetite," she said. "If too high of a dose, it can cause lethargy and somnolence. The other major risk is, if misused, it can cause hyperactivity, inability to sleep and even death."

    As for those who use Adderall to party, it has the reputation as something of a miracle drug. The way it works is when one would normally fall asleep from over-drinking, the drug keeps them up so they can continue the party all night long if they choose to. However, taking prescription meds while your judgment is impaired can at best risk your health and at worst court death.

    Cole became somber as he turned and started speaking about those he's known who have used Adderall to party.

    "I have this friend who actually visited during a fest last year and took over 120 milligrams of Adderall at once," Cole recalled. "Literally 5 foot tall, 80 pounds. She lied in the bathtub for eight hours, and she couldn't even open her eyes. She was so terrified."

    With Adderall use sweeping the OU campus, what are police doing to help protect students from abusing this drug?

    OU Police Chief Andrew Powers said the department does investigate misuse of Adderall and other prescription drugs.

    "There are many ways we find it. Everything from anonymous tips to happening to come upon it when we stop a car," he said.

    Though the casual attitude of most students about Adderall might suggest it's a trivial pursuit, this is far from the case. Selling or possessing Adderall without a prescription is a fifth-degree felony that could result in 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

    Despite the potential health and criminal consequences of misusing the drug, a Drug and Alcohol Survey conducted at OU in 2009 found that in spring of that year, 16 percent of the 1,211 students surveyed reported some type of stimulant use. The survey is conducted every other year.

    However, some don't believe this is an accurate statistic. Hannah, a junior in the School of Media Arts and Studies, said those numbers are grossly under-inflated.

    "There's absolutely no way people are being honest. Every person I know here either uses Adderall routinely or as a study aid during midterm and finals week," she said.

    Thinking about the question further, however, Hannah acknowledged that some students answering the survey may take Adderall use for granted. "It's possible, I suppose, that students don't even realize how serious the drug is. Most wouldn't think Adderall is a 'stimulant'; that sounds like they mean crack or something."

    by Bronze Member on Jun. 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM
    This is nothing new. I was abusing adderall 11 years ago.
    Posted on CafeMom Mobile
    by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM


    Dying to Be Popular: Dangerous New Teen Trends

    1 year ago Lifestyle

    teens smoking drugs

    Photo: kr4gin

    Every second eight teens die in a drink driving accident. Approximately the same number died from an accidental overdose of alcohol or illegal use of prescription drugs. Teens these days are also three times as likely to commit suicide.

    Nearly one million teenage girls will get pregnant this year. Four out of five teens will be addicted, regular smokers before the age of 18. The odds of any one teen having been approached by someone selling or offering drugs to them? That number, say studies, is 13.4%. That same study confirms that 40% of teens drink regularly because they are upset.

    troubled teens and dangerous behaviorPhoto: Ed Yourdon

    If you think that your kid will not engage in any risky behavior or you think you have already heard all the PSAs on risky teen behavior, you're wrong. Here are some startling new teen trends that will kill them.

    The Choking Game


    Let me introduce you to the "Choking Game."




    Teens are always inventing new ways to push the threshold of danger. The Choking Game is one of those teen trends. In 2010, 52 teens were reported as being seriously injured or killed during engaging in this activity. Most of those incidents resulted in death. (To get an up-to-the minute number on incidents, click here)

    The game consists of purposeful deprivation of oxygen to the brain. It creates an erotic high by reported users. At least 40% of teens don't believe there is any risk involved while playing the game. Three out of four teens have at least heard of the game and most know of someone who engaged in this practice. As early as eighth grade, children are regularly playing this game or witnessing a friend taking part in it.

    Texting while Driving and Car Surfing

    Now we must worry about handing over the car keys because of texting while driving and car surfing. Reportedly, 58 teens died last year from car surfing. This was a preventable and sad consequence of poor judgment.



    Last year, texting while driving claimed 6,000 lives. It is estimated that texting while driving makes the driver the equivalent of a 70-year-old driver when it comes to attention and responsiveness. Accidents from texting at the wheel account for more accidents and deaths than drunk driving. It is more commonplace and more socially accepted.

    Lighting Self on Fire

    Teens enjoy being the center of attention and being socially accepted. These are basic human needs. However, teens are more likely to go to extreme lengths to gain acceptance. Enter putting oneself on fire for fun.




    If you Google this teen trend, the results are mortifying. You will find that when teens light themselves on fire, they typically have a chemical imbalance in their brain that makes them always crave adrenaline. Such is a story about an Australian teen who was electrocuted while climbing a power pole.


    Smoking or Injecting Bath Salts

    It's incredible but now teens are snorting or injecting bath salts to get high. Move over synthetic marijuana and the like. Beware if your teen mentions the words, "White Lightning," "Hurricane Charlie, and "Ivory Wave." These are some of the street names out there, though new ones are always evolving. It's perfectly legal and easy to get bath salts. Just one use and the person can have cerebral hemorrhaging or die.

    The bath salts being sold contain cathinone, which is a plant grown in Africa. It affects the neurotransmitters in the brain much like meth or crack would. However, there is no government regulation at this time because of the fact that it is not manufactured for human consumption. Louisiana currently is being hardest hit with deaths and serious injuries because of ingested bath salts.




    To see pictures of this drug, click here.

    The message this writer hopes to get across is of preventing unnecessary deaths and injuries from careless and preventable tragedies. Spread the word and join the cause.

    Written by: Asher Kade


    by Silver Member on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Ds takes Concerta. The capsule cannot be crushed or cut in half. It is time released. His focus is better, but he still needs extended testing.

    by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

     Oh for God's sake. The idea of taking ANY pills scares me to death.How stupid are these kids to risk ther lives . Why can't they just STUDY on a daily basis instead of using some kind of last minute drug to be super alert? This is disgusting.

    This was unheard of when my kids were in school in the 1980's. Are people losing their minds? And don't snyone tell me I mst have been "unaware" of what my kids and their frends were doing, just to make yourselves feel less guilty of not paying attention. I did know and their friends' parents did too.

    Doctors are way too happy to prescribe pills for kids and everyone.

    This IS insane.

    by Member on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I was pissed this year because son was acting out of sorts not like him took to the Dr after, I asked his teacher to fill out paperwork on how he acted around her and in class and the 1st thing the Dr does is to pull out her RX pad my kid 9 years old. I asked is not someone he talk to 1st to see if that would help more? The Dr like Oh ya like the idea had not crossed her mind. Got to USA the RX nation.

    by Gold Member on Jun. 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM
    1 mom liked this

    Not only are Drs to ready to hand out an rx, but a lot of schools push the parents to put their kids on Adderal.  A lot of this is because the teachers and principles are too lazy and don't want to take the time to deal with an unruly kid.  Whatever happened to detention, or taking a child out into the hall for a good talking to?  I remember  several news stories a few years ago about elementary schools that had more than 50% of their kids on Adderall, telling the parents that either they put the kids on the drug, or the kids would not be allowed in school.  Of course they always had the school "psychologist" to back them up.

    I also think that Drs and other so called professionals are too quick to jump to the diagnosis of let's medicate them.  I know there are kids and undiagnosed adults, too, out there who have ADHD, but I also believe with some of these kids it is lack of discipline on the parents  part, or they are acting up to get attention....whether at home or in school.

    Personally, if it were my child, I would get another opinion before I would put him/her on a long term med.   

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