Students Use ADHD Drugs Like Adderall Or Ritalin To Get Better Grades

10:26 PM, Oct 31, 2011   |    comments
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Guilford County, NC -- No longer are students using a couple of two-liters or pots of coffee to pull all-nighters.  Some students are using their friend's ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) medicines like Adderall or Ritalin.

News 2 asked one college student how often this happens and he said "all the time".  It is not just on his Piedmont College campus either. 

"I hear about it from my friends at other schools..It's an easy way to pull an all nighter," says Lex.  

He says it's so common, it came up in a class discussion.

"We've talked about how it's the number one thing on college campuses across the country."

Beverly Hills 90210 created a whole story line around students buying ADHD medications to help them be more productive, focused and energized.

In the episode, the writers also reveal the different ways students use the drug, from swallowing the pill, to crushing and snorting it.

Dr. Michael Coates, the Family Medicine Clinic Chairman at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center says, "Some snort it because 'I get a quicker buzz'. It's not cocaine but it is a stimulant and it's pretty powerful and you might get heart palpatations." 

Not to mention the headaches, stomach cramps, and the edginess.

Dr. Coates believes the real danger is what happens after the students graduate and still need a pick-me-up.

"They go away from their own innate ability because they've always depended on something else to make them function. "

Lex knows the power of the drug. He is prescribed ADHD meds. But he says because you don't hear about overdoses, most college students don't think using these drugs are any big deal. 

"I don't think anyone looks at it as dangerous," says Lex.  

The students say they either get a friend to give them to them, or they buy them off someone. The going rate, about $2 a pill.

A researcher at The University of Kentucky did a study and found 30% of freshmen and sophomore students who don't have an ADHD prescription, use ADHD medicines to study. 

The numbers jumped to 50 to 70% for juniors and seniors.
And get this,  43% of the students believe taking the medicine helped bump them up a grade or two.

WFMY News 2

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