A recent study conducted by eight colleges found that 1-in-4 college students have abused sedatives, pain medicine or stimulants, according to the website business-standard.com, a site that reports on domestic and international business.

The study surveyed 3,918 students, those who use stimulants like Adderall said they did so “to help them study or improve their grades,” the study reported.

The Business-Standard study found that seven out of 10 students found it easy to get stimulants without a prescription. Stimulants can include Adderall, Ritalin and other ADHD medication.

“I would say it’s close to accurate just for the fact that it’s easy to get. I don’t use them personally, but I definitely can tell you how to get them,” Plattsburgh State broadcast journalism major Kyle Bryans said.

Bryans said he knows people who take Adderall “to get that educational edge to cram for that exam or finish that project that’s due next morning.”
Bryans speculated that curiosity is the reason why some students choose to experiment with prescription drugs.

“If someone says, ‘Hey, take this pill. It’ll help you on the exam,’ tell that to an 18-year-old kid, and they might want to give it a shot,” Bryans said.

PSUC communications major Adam Gordon said he had a former roommate who used Adderall for recreational purposes and ended up cutting his face after falling off a skateboard while drunk and on Adderall.

PSUC Alcohol and Other Drug Coordinator Janis Krug said factors like curiosity, peer pressure, societal norms and access contribute to young people abusing prescription medicines.

She also said that brains don’t mature until the age of 25, which can attribute to people becoming addicted before that age.

Krug said one way to distinguish use from abuse is altered behavior. Abusers will often demonstrate altered behavior while users will not.

She also shared some insight as to the signs of a person with a substance abuse problem. She said that once people can’t maintain a general lifestyle that’s when it becomes abuse. One might see them withdrawn socially, have financial problems, mood swings, denial and defensive behaviors.

She said it’s an “‘I don’t have a problem cause it hasn’t happened to me yet’ mentality.”

Email Patrick Willsich at patrick.willsich@cardinalpointsonline.com

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