College Students More Likely to Misuse Adderall, Study Finds

College students between the ages of 18 and 22 were twice as likely to use the amphetamine drug Adderall nonmedically as those who had not been in college at all or were only part-time students, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).


Approximately 90 percent of the full-time college students who had used Adderall nonmedically in the past year also engaged in binge drinking in the past month, and more than 50 percent were heavy alcohol users, researchers reported. Students under the legal drinking age who used Adderall were also more likely to binge drink or engage in heavy drinking than underage nonstudents who had not used Adderall nonmedically.


Full-time college students who had used Adderall nonmedically in the past year were almost three times more likely to use marijuana, eight times more likely to use cocaine, eight times more likely to use tranquilizers nonmedically, and five times more likely to use pain relievers nonmedically, the survey found.


Prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and for narcolepsy, Adderall is classified as a Schedule II drug because of its high potential for abuse and dependence. However, it has become popular on college campuses as a study aid.

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College Students More Likely to Misuse Adderall, Study Finds

College students between the ages of 18 and 22 were twice as likely to use the amphetamine drug Adderall nonmedically as those who had not been in college at all or were only part-time students, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Approximately 90 percent of the full-time college students who had used Adderall nonmedically in the past year also engaged in binge drinking in the past month, and more than 50 percent were heavy alcohol users, researchers reported. Students under the legal drinking age who used Adderall were also more likely to binge drink or engage in heavy drinking than underage nonstudents who had not used Adderall nonmedically.

Full-time college students who had used Adderall nonmedically in the past year were almost three times more likely to use marijuana, eight times more likely to use cocaine, eight times more likely to use tranquilizers nonmedically, and five times more likely to use pain relievers nonmedically, the survey found.

Prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and for narcolepsy, Adderall is classified as a Schedule II drug because of its high potential for abuse and dependence. However, it has become popular on college campuses as a study aid.

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College Students More Likely to Drink Heavily, Drive Drunk

A review of published research shows that college students are more likely to binge drink and drive drunk than their peers who are not in school, Reuters reported April 18.

Researcher Ralph Hingson of Boston University and colleagues noted that an estimated 2.8 million college students drive while intoxicated, and that one in four say they binge-drink (for men, consuming five or more drinks at a sitting; for women, having four or more drinks at a sitting) on a regular basis. “Even with the most conservative estimates, the numbers are staggering,” said Hingson.

The research review suggests that colleges need to change their approach to student drinking, said Hingson, including working with local police to enforce drunk-driving laws and underage-drinking laws. Screening students for alcohol problems and referring them to counseling also could help, Hingson said.

The findings were published in the Annual Review of Public Health, 2005.

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