A study at the University of Michigan shows that up to 35% of college students are using stimulants to help deal with stress. Prescription drugs like Adderall, Ritelin and Concerta, all used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), are now commonly bought and sold on the campus black market. Apparently, students are using these pills to feel more focused and productive and all they have to do is find someone with a prescription to buy into it.
College senior, Dan Crawford, a student who is prescribed ADD medication, says, "They're paying $5 to $20 a pill depending on amount, type, and how desperate they are also. By the time you graduate college nearly everyone has tried it and knows what the effect would be on them".
That is not necessarily so says specialist Dr. Harry Verby. He says these pills can cause headaches, rapid heart rate, insomnia, and strokes and in people with undiagnosed heart issues, a stimulant could actually be deadly. So Dr. Verby says he's on the lookout for patients with a story. He adds that, "If they tell me they lost it, that's a red flag they're selling it or abusing it."
Meanwhile, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University surveyed 2,000 college students nationwide. That report found that from 1993 to 2005, the proportion of students who abused prescription stimulants such as Adderall increased 93% to include more than 200 thousand students.
Dr. Verby says the irony in this is that unless a student actually has ADD, these pills will not "help" any more than a strong cup of coffee.