Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.) is steadily gaining more and more popularity in high school students who are under extreme pressure to get good grades and enter Ivy League colleges.
The prescription drug is becoming commonplace in academically competitive high schools throughout the country. Many students claim to get the drug from either friends, student dealers, or they fake symptoms to get prescribed themselves. DeAnsin Parker, a NY psychologist, says that this pill is the “culture” throughout all private schools in the NY area.
The D.E.A. list Adderall as Class 2 controlled substances, the same category of other drugs such as Ritalin, Focalin, cocaine, and morphine. This group is ranked among the most addictive substances with a medical use. Thus meaning they carry a high legal risk also, where giving the drug to a friend is the same as selling it and they can be prosecuted as a felony.
Those who use the drug without the disorder, find that one pill gives them enough energy and focus to do all-nighters, homework binges, or long papers, and then take extreme long test such as the S.A.T’s afterwards with no problem. However, although it can help it’s users achieve their goal it has negative side effects such as depression, sleep deprivation, heart irregularities, and it can lead to the use of other painkillers and drugs.
According to IMS Health/NY Times, the number of prescriptions for A.D.H.D medication dispensed for people between the ages of 10 to 19 rose to 26% since 2007 (almost 21 million yearly). One student said he makes hundreds of dollars a week selling prescription drugs, priced from 5 to 20 dollars per pill.
Many students interviewed, who remained nameless, said that the drug was used so that the students can continue to work hard especially with busy schedules and to meet academic expectations. Many students lied to their psychiatrist to get the prescription by expressing feelings they didn’t really have.
Is Adderall America’s new gateway drug?