What is Adderall?
We classify Adderall as a central nervous system stimulant, prescribed by physicians to speed up and heighten certain bodily processes. It affects the chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. It is typically used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
How Does Adderall Work in the Brain?
Adderall increases the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. It takes between one and two hours to reach its peak – when taken normally. Crushing and snorting the powder gives a more immediate effect. It stays in the body for several days, depending on the type of Adderall you take.
Adderall Use in College: The Statistics
Studies have found that the between 4.1% and 10.8% of college students reported using prescription stimulants such as Adderall for nonmedical reasons per year. Many college students get offered Adderall but decline using it. Here is a breakdown of the different college groups and their Adderall use in college prepared by the Center on Young Adult Health and Development:
- Of 36% of freshman offered Adderall, only 13.3% actually used it.
- For sophomores, 17.9% of the 38.5% offered Adderall used it.
- Juniors seem to be the group who gets offered Adderall more often than others. 41.1% receives the offer, with 20.1% of them taking it.
- 32% of seniors offered Adderall, 16.1% ending up using it.
Why do College Students Take Adderall?
According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health report, full-time college students are twice as likely to be using Adderall as part-time students.
Many students wait until the day before their exams to study. They begin to panic and start looking for the quickest and easiest way to capture all that information, without feeling tired. Adderall essentially overstimulates the brain, helping students to concentrate with the minimum amount of sleep – making it ideal for crammers.
By altering the brain chemistry, Adderall use in college helps students to experience an increase in concentration, alertness, and motivation. Research suggests a 25% Adderall use in college students or other stimulant drugs without permission from a healthcare practitioner.
Adderall strengthens the brain’s inhibitory capacities to regulate its power more efficiently. Many college students choose to take Adderall in order to improve their grades – a sort of ‘’superhuman’’ feeling of excellence and achievement.
Not only does Adderall give students the ability to concentrate like there’s no tomorrow, during a time in which vanity plays a big role in one’s life, it also promotes weight loss. During my first few years in college I remember, it was imperative to be as thin and good-looking as possible, and I didn’t hesitate to use substances to make this happen. It was perfect – good grades, a great social life, and a body I would kill for these days.
In some cases, Adderall can intensify symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior. Because of this, students Adderall use in college can make for immaculate work, promoting organizational skills like you can’t believe.
Another reason for Adderall use in college can be the fact that the dopamine brings them a rush of pleasure and reward, especially when administered in a different manner than prescribed by a healthcare practitioner.
Adderall’s use in college is easier by the fact that Adderall is relatively easy to acquire. Many college students simply make an appointment at the college clinic, do some quick research on the symptoms of ADHD, and fake those symptoms during their appointments, resulting in a prescription and in all hopes, increased academic results.
Adderall has the opposite effect of coffee (the ultimate study drug’’) as it makes the user focus, instead of making him or her jittery from the caffeine levels.
How to Spot a College Student Using Adderall
There are some behaviors and characteristics associated with the nonmedical use of Adderall. These include:
- Other drug use and excessive drinking
- Low perception of the harm that taking prescription medicine in a nonmedical manner can cause;
- Difficulty concentrating or a short attention span
- Skipping classes
- Depression or psychiatric distress
- Decrease in GPA
What Makes Adderall Work better for Young College Students?
When it comes to Adderall and college students, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Adderall obviously works best when taken as prescribed by a medical practitioner. Large amounts of vitamin C will reduce the effects of Adderall. Don’t take Adderall only when you feel you need it – it loses effectiveness.
This one is especially for college students:
For the best effect (besides following the prescription), take Adderall on an empty stomach.
Adderall and College Students: Addiction
By the time you reach college, you should be able to identify if you have an addictive personality. Adderall is addictive (some studies suggests that it may even be more addictive than Ritalin) and you should be very careful before using it to improve your grades.
The potential to become addicted to Adderall – especially for college students who take it frequently. Adderall and college students don’t mix in the traditional sense, as college comes with many academic challenges, making it easier for students to get hooked.
Responsibility Around Adderall Use in College Students
It is the responsibility of college students, parents, and healthcare practitioners to discourage the nonmedical use of Adderall actively. It is advisable for colleges to consider providing a comprehensive support structure. This could include ‘’flagging’’ students who show a rapid drop in academic performance and investigating the matter.
It is imperative for students to understand that there is no shortcut to success. Adderall might help students achieve higher grades, though proper time management is the safer, healthier option.