Why Are So Many College and High School Kids Abusing Adderall

During the past 15 years, there has been a remarkable transformation in the drug trade. It used to be dominated by the illegal drug cartels. Now it it is dominated by the legal drug companies.

The most dangerous legal drugs are the prescription opioids, now responsible for twice as many deaths as street drugs and also for a secondary epidemic of heroin addiction.

The next most dangerous legal drugs are Xanax and other short acting benzodiazepines that potentiate overdoses, cause severe addiction, raise the risk of falls, and worsen cognitive problems.

ADHD meds are the most dangerous legal drugs among young people in college and high school.

I have invited Dr Gretchen LeFever Watson, a clinical psychologist and public health researcher, to describe this growing problem. gwatsonphd@gmail.com
Dr Watson writes:

College students are using and abusing Adderall — the drug commonly used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — in record numbers. Adderall may not yet be in the water supply, but it’s part of the fabric of life on modern American college campuses.

Adderall and other stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD are now so prevalent on college campuses that students misperceive them as relative benign substances. They are selling, swapping, sharing, and stealing Adderall for a host of nonmedical reasons, including “pulling all-nighters,” weight loss, and partying. As a result, the number of emergency room visits and deaths associated with non-medical use of ADHD medications recently doubled.

Since the 1970s, the number of children diagnosed and medicated for ADHD has been on the rise. At last count, 14 percent of American children are diagnosed with ADHD before the end of childhood. Children diagnosed during the childhood years have been growing up and showing up on college campuses with Adderall in hand.

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