Illegal Adderall Use Increasing as “Study Drug”

While Adderall is routinely used to treat those suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), more and more people are finding that it also works to help boost endurance during tough days. A prescription amphetamine, most people who are using Adderall for its ability to stimulate are doing so without a prescription. According to a recent report in the Colorado Daily News, the use of prescription stimulants is on the rise – especially on college campuses. Dubbed “study drugs” the use of stimulants to effectively compete in the academic playing field is becoming a dangerous habit. A 2005 study found that 6.9 percent of college students nationally reported the use of stimulants without a prescription. One student noted: “I use it to work into the late hours of the night. If you take a pill at 6 (p.m.), you’re going to be up until 4 in the morning. Comprehension isn’t increased, but interest is.” The arguments for using Adderall to boost academic performance are interesting as some say that it helps those who would otherwise struggle to keep up. Opponents argue that this academic performance enhancer poses fairness issues with bell-curve grading, competitive grad-school admission standards and a tightening job market. There appears to also be a moral dilemma among students. While some report that it is wrong to use the drug for any reason outside of a prescription, others justify the use for specific occasions. Many use the drug for writing a paper or studying for a test, while also leaving a few extra pills to share with peers. Among those students who have a legal prescription, 84 percent reported that they had been asked to share with their peers. These findings were part of a 2008 study in the Journal of American College Health. Another study found that 70 percent of students who had taken stimulants without a prescription found the effect was positive or very positive.

Scroll to Top