When most people think about prescription drug abuse they think about painkillers. However, there is another category of prescription medication that is being abused by many students across the country. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin have been making their way across college campuses and even high schools. The drugs are being sold to young people who believe it will make them stay awake and alert when they are studying for a big test or if they have a lot of homework.

These drugs were created to help people with ADHD focus on their work. Unfortunately, it did not take long for other people to realize that when they take the drugs they are very powerful stimulants. This realization enticed many youth and young adults into taking the drug without a prescription, oftentimes developing a strong addiction to the pills due to their high potential for abuse.

Adderall and Ritalin are forms of amphetamine. They are powerful stimulants that increase the heart rate and cause a person to have more energy, temporarily. They are highly addictive as they mimic the effects of cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants. Many people who are addicted to methamphetamine or cocaine started out abusing some type of prescription stimulant. For those who are abusing the drug in order to get better grades, studies show that the opposite actually happens.

“Many (students) are misusing or abusing stimulants thinking it is going to help them to concentrate and study more effectively, when in actuality, research shows that the kids who are using and abusing the stimulants actually have a lower grade point average than those who are not using stimulants,” explained certified alcohol and drug addiction counselor, Michelle De La Riva.

All across the country the DEA is holding drug take-back events where people are encouraged to bring their unused prescriptions for safe disposal. These take-back days are ways to prevent students from selling or buying unused prescriptions of potentially dangerous medications like these.