By Chris Brosey —
Are these drugs harming students, are the students who actually have ADHD having to fight harder to gain access to their needed drugs, and how is it so easy for students without ADHD to receive the drugs. ADHD drugs like Adderall and Vyvanse are amphetamines, which means they stimulate the central nervous system, increase heart rate and decrease appetite. Blake Graham, a junior at the U of L who has ADHD and has been prescribed both Vyvanse and Adderall legally, believes strongly that they should not be taken unless absolutely necessary.
“There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to take Adderall or Vyvanse unless they have to. The only reason that I take Adderall is because it helps me to stay focused. It really is a terrible drug for your body, you can’t eat when you are on it, you are in a very terrible mood, and you generally don’t talk to anybody. I would never sell the drugs to anyone, they can be very dangerous to someone who does not actually have ADHD.”
A student who wanted to remain anonymous has been taking Adderall and Vyvanse illegally for years.
“I have been using both of the drugs since my freshman year of high school. Whatever is available is what I will buy. I went from a C student in middle school and my first year of high school, to an A+ student. I have such an advantage over anyone who does not use it. Maybe it is a placebo effect but I honestly do not believe I could graduate college without it.”
Dr. David Lohr, a psychiatrist with the UofL Physicians Bingham Clinic, believes Adderall and Vyvanse abuse is very dangerous for students who do not have ADHD.
“Adderall and Vyvanse have reputations as medications that anybody can take. I would definitely say it is a growing epidemic. A fairly high percentage of around 25 to 30 percent of students use stimulants without having the disease. If you do not have ADHD, you are just getting more of a stimulant effect, you are not correcting any underlying problems. I also think that there may be abuse of the drugs if you do not have ADHD.”
Knowing the dangers of Adderall and Vyvanse, students still seem to want to buy these potentially deadly drugs and put them into their bodies.
“People who do not have ADHD may get more of a euphoric effect. If you take this in high doses they can cause visual and auditory hallucinations and that can be very bad. My advice would be to simply not do it. The healthy way to approach it is improving time management, get enough sleep, exercise, meditation, et cetera”