The Investigators

Apr 30, 2013 2:08 AM by Tom McNamara

Students turn to ADHD drug to prepare for finals

Doctors prescribe it for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or A.D.H.D. But as our News 4 Tucson Investigators found out, it's a drug that's also being abused locally by some college students, looking for an edge when it comes to studying - and more.

All-nighters and cramming, fueled by coffee. But on the UA campus, some students are now turning to something else to help them make the grade - Adderall- an amphetamine.

"Stay up all night. cram. get up the next morning, be ready to go."

People with A.D.H.D. take it so they can work and study more effectively. According to Keith Boesen, with the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, the drug helps their attention, and keeps their brain focused.

"You can actually stimulate it to start to focus, which is essentially the same concept of having a cup of coffee in the morning. is to really not just to wake you up, but allow you to focus and concentrate better."

But, according to a study in the Journal "Addiction" as many as one in four college students abused Adderall, taking it without a prescription.

And, when compared to non-college students, studies show people between the ages of 18 and 22 who are in college are twice as likely to take the drug without a prescription.

"I don't use it myself, but I know a lot of people that do. and, most of them are not prescribed it, so they buy it on the street."

"There are significant consequences for taking it when it's not intended for you. ah , and, there's a reason why it's prescribed by physicians and dispensed by pharmacists. it's because this is a substance we want to make sure hits the right person, at right dose, for the right period of time"

It's also a problem that is all too familiar to UA Campus Health.

"When you put a super stimulant not prescribed for you in your body, you're not aware of the correct dosing, you can get these hyper-stimulant kind of symptoms, that actually prevent you you from studying."

And, abuse of Adderall has also caught the attention of Campus Police

"It probably happens more we know that these drugs are out there, and they are often easily obtained. or buying them off of someone else"

"It's not just for studying, people use it for partying too. because, if you take it and then go party, you can party like way longer, and drink way more than you would be able to."

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