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Many teenagers and college students feel the stress of striving to achieve good grades. They have pressures of living up to their parents standards and expectations or even getting or maintaining a scholarship.  As a result, misuse of the drug Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), a Schedule II Controlled Substance, is on the rise, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Due to its reputation as “a study drug”, to which many students attribute their educational success, it is being misused and abused.

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Adderall is a stimulant drug (an “upper” drug) known to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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Those who have ADHD have problems focusing on school work,  completing assignments, restlessness, overly talkative, etc. Adderall has been known to be effective in treating this disorder. With people who have been diagnosed with ADHD,  Adderall affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. However, for those who do not have ADHD,  taking this stimulant drug has different outcomes and can be highly addictive and dangerous.  “If someone has an underlying medical condition, whether they know about it or not, taking these drugs could potentially exacerbate that problem,” said Edward Bell, professor of clinical sciences at Drake University College of Pharmacy. Emergency Department visits from the misuse of Adderall and in combination with other drugs or stimulants like caffeine have almost doubled from 2006 to 2011 (Drug Abuse Warning Network).

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Some of the side effects are:
  *Agitation
  *Unable to fall asleep at night
  *Anxiety

Rare events may include racing of the heart, chest pain, elevated blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

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Statistics
●1 in 4 college students have used prescription drugs 
   illegally
●About 2,500 12-17 year ilda per day start experimenting with opiates
●Full-Time college students aged 18-22 are twice as likely to abuse Adderall than their peers who aren’t in college
●90% of college students who abuse Adderall also report binge drinking and over 50% were regular heavy  alcohol users
●Some researchers estimate about 30% of students     abuse stimulants, including Adderall

It is important for parents to communicate with their children.  Encourage a more holistic approach to academic success.

Some helpful tips for a successful school and college experience:
 
*Create a study plan before the exam in order to       
    prevent cramming

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  *Achieve optimal hours of sleep

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  *Get plenty of exercise and eat a well-balanced diet

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  *Use resources at school to help you achieve realistic
    goals

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We as parents, guardians and adults need to encourage students to always try their best in school and be proud of their accomplishments. Remember that they are ultimately more than the measure of their GPA, SAT, ACT, or any other test score.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves at hand.” Vince Lombardi