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Wisconsin Students Use Prescription Drugs to Cope With Stress

The stress of college and the competitive nature of higher education can cause anxiety among students. For students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, there is one popular way to combat the pressure. Apparently the prescription drug Adderall is being used by students as a way to focus and energize.

Though law enforcement on campus has little information about these drug crimes, a few students who were interviewed acknowledge that many students are using Adderall, most of them obtaining the prescription drug illegally.

One former student of UW-Madison had been prescribed Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in high school. When she got to college, she realized how many of her classmates and friends relied on the drug to get them through the daily grind.

According to the article, most students that rely on Adderall are not actually prescribed the drug. Instead they obtain it from classmates who do have prescriptions or convince doctors that they need it for ADHD.

While the drug helps the user focus and stay motivated, there are also downsides. Students can become physically and psychologically addicted to Adderall. Their bodies rely on the drug to give them the stamina to get things done; they can fall into the mindset that they need the drug in order to do well on exams or papers. One student overdosed on Adderall at one point.

Though campus officials are unable to prove the use of prescription drugs, they believe that it is a problem that must be addressed. With the amount of stress students cope with on a daily basis, they will continue to seek ways to help them succeed in school. Since prescription drugs like Adderall are easily obtained, it is likely that the trend of prescription drug abuse will also continue.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal online, "Some see use of 'smart drug' Adderall rising at UW-Madison," 20 December 2010

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