the Red Oak Recovery<sup>®</sup> wordmark in color

Addiction Risk of ADHD Medication

Experience clinician-run addiction treatment at Red Oak Recovery® in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains

Addiction Risk of ADHD Medication

Required multi-tasking can be a harsh reality when students head to college, and they may resort to taking prescription drugs like Adderall (an ADHD medication) to manage the lifestyle change. While some students abuse Adderall because they want to get high, misuse is also rising on college campuses due to the belief that it will:

1. Improve focus & concentration.
2. Help students stay alert for long hours of studying, working, or partying.
3. Curb appetite and prevent the feared “freshman 15” weight gain.
4. Enhance learning & improve grades.

Adderall and similar drugs are generally prescribed for students with an ADHD diagnosis (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). People suffering from ADHD may have trouble paying attention. In some cases, they are antsy, struggle to sit still, or daydream frequently. Unfortunately, there are a growing number of young adults using ADHD stimulants without a prescription or a diagnosis. When ADHD medications are misused, they can lead to increased blood pressure and heart rate, and inflated sense of confidence, academic struggles, and even stroke. Over time, stimulant use may bring feelings of anger or paranoia, and may cause students to strike out against friends, parents, or teachers.

An article in ADDitude Magazine sheds more light on stimulant use on college campuses. “Students are constantly told they have to excel,” says Kelly Burch-Ragan, Ph.D., president of the International Association of Addiction and Offender Counselors. “They come from high school to an environment with a lot more academic and social demands, and these drugs represent an instantaneous fix.”

A 2015 study indicated that up to 17% of college students misuse ADHD medications, often because they believe it improves their ability to learn. Unfortunately—and not surprisingly—students are also combining the medication with alcohol, which can have dire and life-threatening consequences. “It makes it possible to drink beyond the normal limit,” said study author Kari Benson from the University of South Carolina (USC). “So instead of passing out drunk, you might end up in the hospital having to get your stomach pumped.”

Treatment for ADHD Stimulant Addiction

If you or someone you love is misusing stimulant drugs, Red Oak Recovery® offers evidence-based recovery therapies. Providing gender-specific alcohol and substance use treatment for young adults 18 and older, our program is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. To learn more or begin the insurance approval process for Adderall addiction, call 866.457.7426 today.