How College Students are Using Adderall?

college students using adderall

In the US, more than 2 million patients with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) were prescribed Adderall by their physicians. The drug helps to diminish symptoms of the disease by improving memory, cerebral energy and attention span. But several individuals use the drug without any prescription for off-label purposes. The majority of these include students who purchase the drug from a person they know to have a legitimate Adderall prescription.

Trend among Students

College students are consistently abusing Adderall, commonly referred to as a study drug, in record percentages. Many believe that the drug is an integral part of the modern-day college experience.

At the moment, Adderall and similar stimulants are so widespread  among students that they misinterpret these as helpful substances. They are buying, exchanging, trading, stealing and sharing Adderall for various off-label reasons which include partying, weight loss, and pulling all-nighters. Consequently, the number of hospital visits and casualties related to the off-label usage of Adderall has doubled in recent times.

Among the most popular ways of taking Adderall is snorting or injecting the drug after crushing its tablets. This method transfers the drug faster into your brain  compared to taking them orally. Its oral consumption takes more time to effect the user as it enters his/her bloodstream through the digestive system.

Consequently, snorting or injecting methods augment the possibilities of a dreaded addiction or a life-threatening overdose. Addiction is a psychological condition which affects each user individually. Furthermore, biological as well as environmental reasons might also trigger its onset.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved Adderall XR (an Adderall version). It’s one of the primary reasons why Adderall usage has skyrocketed in the last several years. The effects of Adderall XR last relatively longer compared to other prescription drugs. Another reason for its current popularity is that there has been a significant rise in the number of patients diagnosed with ADHD, which leads to further prescriptions.

Recent research conducted on over 10,000 college students discovered that more than 7% of students were abusing study drugs like Adderall. Studies further revealed that nearly each student who abuses Adderall buys it from a classmate or an acquaintance with ADHD.

 Another study disclosed that students who abuse Adderall, and other similar stimulants, share many common traits. For instance, an overwhelming percentage is white and belongs to a sorority or group. These college students frequently abuse Adderall to concentrate on studies and usually get an average grade of B or even lower.

Reasons and Familiar Excuses

Quite shockingly, nearly 80 percent of Adderall abusers take it without any prescription for academic reasons. Adderall helps them to remain alert, awake and fully concentrate before examinations. In reality, ADHD drugs do not necessarily make students intelligent. They might assist them in focusing better and remaining awake for a longer duration. However, the abusers must not expect that Adderall will aid them in performing more intricate studies, for instance writing better papers.

Such drug abuse might also occur due to many social reasons. Several students maintain that using Adderall helps them to be extroverted and to remain awake until late hours. Furthermore, several students are either taking it strictly for experiment’s sake or to get high, and most of these users are males.

Nearly 1 in 5 females takes Adderall without prescription for weight loss purposes. Since the use of Adderall leads to appetite loss, many abusers consider it a perfect way to remain in shape while, simultaneously,  concentrating on studies. On the contrary, abusing Adderall for weight loss is risky for various reasons, particularly because your body won’t get much-required nutrients.

Those students with ADHD who can legally use Adderall think that selling it is permissible and a nice way to earn easy cash. They need to bear in mind that such drugs are in the list of Schedule II highly addictive substances, along with heroin and cocaine. The United States DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has issued this list. The minimum prison term for selling a Schedule II drug is five years. Now, only a few students know about this, and there is a law enforcement problem regarding this issue.

Safer Nootropic Alternatives

There are many nootropic supplements available on the market which many physicians consider as safer alternatives to Adderall. These nootropic supplements have minimum side effects, withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, overdose issues and potential for addiction. These alternatives can, indeed, improve overall cerebral health and overall brain functionality.

The following is a list of the top nootropic alternatives to Adderall:


Piracetam: This nootropic supplement comes with a huge number of cognitive benefits, such as memory development, enhanced learning aptitude, attentiveness, improved concentration, and enhanced focus. Piracetam can even assist in diminishing ADHD symptoms.

Aniracetam: Aniracetam triggers the activities of the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter helps to improve brain signals and development of nerve cells while enhancing synaptic communication. The supplement helps to improve mental concentration, provide faster recall and improve memory. It also reduces depression and anxiety levels.

Pramiracetam: This nootropic supplement is way more powerful compared to Piracetam. Therefore, even at lower doses, it’s pretty potent. Pramiracetam also triggers the activities of acetylcholine in your brain, which results in various cognitive benefits. The supplement helps to improve mental focus, enhance better logical reasoning abilities, and appropriately channelize fast-flowing information.

Adrafinil: Adrafinil is a non-prescription drug with minimal side effects. It is known to promote alertness, concentration, mood, wakefulness, and several other cognitive factors, particularly in the elderly. The supplement has been safely utilized for various off-label reasons.


The mindsets of students, as well as their parents, college administrators, and, specifically, law enforcement agencies towards abuse of Adderall, have been relatively indecisive. As students apparently take them for study purposes, people consider the drug to be a close relative of caffeine. It’s the responsibility of parents to check if their kids have any serious attention problems. Students need to consult a physician for a diagnosis rather than purchasing Adderall illegally from their acquaintances and using it without any prescription.

All college students should have full knowledge of the grave risks associated with the study drug. Parents, college administrators, counselors and health care experts must openly talk about Adderall and other related stimulants with students when they exchange their views regarding the risks of drug abuse.

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Erica Silva
Senior Editor
Erica Silva is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Currently, she is associated with DementiaTalk Team.

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