Our society has become one that rewards achievement at all costs. Many athletes, students, and workers in stressful occupations have faced moments where they feel the need to artificially augment their abilities. Whether it’s inching ahead of the competition, pulling an all-nighter to study for an exam, or working overtime hours only to get up the next morning and do it all over again – sometimes the limitations of our human bodies just can’t keep up.
Stimulants such as Adderall have been used for their ability to bestow laser-sharp focus, despite external circumstances. But just because a drug is legal or readily available in your medicine cabinet doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Adderall Addiction – Too Easy
An article featured by Forbes retold the tragic tale of Richard Fee, a high achieving pre-med student, who also held the office of class president. Fee’s abuse of Adderall took a turn for the worst as he prepared himself for the long hours of study required to pass exams for med school admission. Fee developed an addiction – a dependency that eventually became so strong he chose to take his own life.
Certainly these stimulants have benefits for those who truly have ADHD. But doctors need to be aware of the growing number of young people who are falsifying symptoms in order to receive prescriptions for other purposes. Using these powerful stimulants non-medically as “study drugs” involves taking a huge risk.
The number of young adults aged 20 to 39 using prescription stimulants is growing faster than any other age group. According to a 2009 study, 3 of every 5 college students surveyed said they personally knew classmates who were abusing stimulants. Young people should be educated regarding the dangers of using these drugs inappropriately – otherwise they they’ll learn the hard way.