For some students, the pressure to succeed is really no different from that experienced by athletes who are trying to get a leg up on their competition.
And just as performance enhancing drugs are often used in sports to artificially gain that competitive edge, many students are now turning to Adderall to help them focus and enhance their academic performance by whatever means necessary.
A lot rides on good grades — a person’s GPA may be a determinant for scholarships, jobs, sports opportunities, participation in Greek life, parental support and more.
But experts caution that Adderall, a stimulant normally prescribed to keep symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in check, can be highly addictive if abused.
Prescription drug abuse on the rise
Because of its potential for misuse, Adderall is currently grouped with other schedule two drugs such as meth and cocaine. It may seem contradictory to logic, but for those with ADHD, the stimulant actually helps to sharpen one’s concentration and allows for more tasks to be completed. According to this MSNBC report, Adderall works to activate the central nervous system through a series of amphetamine salts.
The ability to improve productivity has earned Adderall titles such as “wonder drug” and “study drug.” It has gained popularity at campuses across America for its ability to help students do more with less sleep. Though with improper use, Adderall side effects include sleep deprivation disorders and an extremely high risk of dependency.
For those with ADHD, Adderall treatment is an effective way to boost concentration. Will Oremus, writer for Slate, has ADHD and says that Adderall helps him manage his condition and get things done during the day. He adds that while Adderall may help students pull an all-nighter, they should not expect the drug to alter their IQ.