Adderall abuse seen by addictions expert

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A Valley addictions expert says college kids in the Valley are taking prescription drugs like Adderall.

Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD and experts are also saying it is being abused by college students.  In fact, full-time students are twice as likely to abuse Adderall as part-time students.

An addictions expert says this abuse is dangerous.

With the month of April winding down, that means students at Indiana State University will be gearing up for finals.  Some students turn to the prescription drugs like Adderall to simply stay awake and study.

Dr. Randy Stevens of Union Hospital is an addictions expert.  He says it’s very dangerous to abuse amphetamine-based stimulants like Adderall.

“Long term use of them, especially, can cause cardiac arrhythmia’s or sudden death in people,” said Stevens.

Adderall is also known as what’s called a ‘Scheduled II Controlled Substance.’  These are among the most addictive drugs out there and they put things like Red Bull or energy drinks to shame.

“These are medicines that potentially can be abused, become addicted to, and ultimately can even cause death,” Stevens said.

News 10 spoke with the Director of Indiana State University’s student counseling center about this issue.  He stated Adderall abuse is not a problem they see much on campus.

“We do know that it’s an issue.  We know students use them.  However, we haven’t seen as big an issue here at Indiana State University,” said Kenneth Chew.

A National Survey on Drug Use and Health report showed most students who abuse Adderall attend private or academically-strong institutions.

Stevens also said symptoms of Adderall abuse include hyperactivity, decreased sleep and weight loss and said once students quit using the drug, they crash.

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