An increase in patients at young adult addiction treatment centers who are seeking treatment for prescription stimulant abuse has uncovered a second troubling trend within the nation’s substance abuse problem. While the opiate addiction crisis among young adults is currently grabbing most of the national media attention, another common addiction among America’s youth is going somewhat unnoticed. On college campuses across the country, students are turning to prescription stimulants like Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse in order to gain an edge in their studies.
Drugs like Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse are normally prescribed for medical issues such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. They are stimulants which work by calming hyperactivity and improving impulse control can be very effective in those with such disorders, however when taken by those without these medical issues they work to drastically increase energy and the ability to focus which is why they have become such a popular drug on college campuses.
While many young college students are claiming these medications provide a clear edge in terms of their ability to study and perform in their classes, some students are finding themselves addicted to these substances and are seeking help at young adult addiction treatment centers. The lure of an easy A in their classes is luring many students down a road which can lead to serious substance abuse issues.
Why college students?
For most American’s, college is a time to branch out and learn new things about the world before embarking on the long haul of adulthood. While this is still true, college campuses today have become highly competitive academic battlegrounds where students compete against one another for better grades in hopes of a more prestigious, or higher paying, job opportunity upon graduation.
This highly competitive atmosphere can be beneficial for many students as they thrive in an attempt to better themselves and train for their future career. However, others find this atmosphere difficult and sometimes feel overwhelmed at the difficulty and amount of work that college can create.
This high pressure environment can create a situation where students look for a way to keep up with their peers by any means necessary. The unbelievable stress which many college students are currently under if forcing them to look for solutions. One of the most popular of these ways currently is by abusing prescription stimulants to boost academic performance. These drugs initially seem like the perfect solution to any college student who finds themselves struggling with his or her coursework, allowing them to stay up long hours and seemingly study more effectively. However after continued use, these effects can turn negative quite quickly and may even lead to drug addiction which requires treatment at a young adult addiction treatment center.
The costs outweigh the benefits
While most college students begin taking prescription stimulants in order to meet the sometimes overwhelming demands of school and a social life, these stimulants often end up having a negative effect on not only someone’s social and emotional health but also their grades.
While taking a handful of prescription stimulants may help a student to stay up all night and cram for an exam the next day, the information that they are studying in this manner is usually not retained for very long. Often times all of the information that was used to take the exam is forgotten immediately after the class is over. This can create a situation where as a student goes along further into their college career, they don’t have the foundational information that they should have learned from their previous classes. This creates a viscous cycle where students end up needing to take more and more stimulants to cram, only making the situation worse.
This continued reliance on prescription stimulants to get through school can many times lead to outright addiction to these stimulants but often times other substances like opiates or alcohol as students look for a way to relax after long cram sessions. More and more patients at young adult addiction treatment centers are claiming that prescription stimulant abuse was a major cause of their drug addiction issues.
Signs of stimulant abuse
Just like with any substance, there are some people who can take drugs like prescription stimulants and without developing an addiction. However, the more these drugs are abused the higher the chance a person may develop an addiction. Here are some of the most common signs of prescription stimulant abuse:
- Needing to take more to achieve the same effect
- Not being able to function without prescription stimulants
- Continuing to take these drugs in spite of negative consequences
- Going multiple days without sleep
- Financial problems due to increased spending on prescription stimulants
- Increased anxiety
- Withdrawal from close friends and family
If you suspect that a friend or family member is abusing prescription stimulants and they are displaying some of these symptoms then they may need help. As college campuses continue to see in increase in the use of prescription stimulants, the number of young adults who find themselves addicted is going to increase as well. In these situations the best course of action is typically to get your friend or loved one help at a young adult addiction treatment center so they can receive treatment for their addiction and return to life or school.
Getting help for prescription stimulant abuse
If you or a loved one have found themselves addicted to prescription stimulants, there is help out there for you. Young adult addiction treatment centers have extensive experience treating students and young adults who have developed an addiction to medications like Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvance and can help to provide a way out of the darkness of addiction and into the light of success free from prescription stimulants.
These programs offer young adults a chance to step away from the stress and overbearing pressures of school and focus on their recovery in a supportive and healthy environment which can prepare them to return back to life and school with a new ability to be successful.