When Seaholm senior Robert Miller* made the transition from middle school to high school, his workload changed quickly. Trading in days of video games and friends, Smith now faced the grueling schedule of an after school job followed by hours of homework.Instead of cutting down his hours working at a local supermarket to focus on school, Miller was convinced he could handle everything. But not without a little help from the pharmacy.
Miller self-prescribed himself without any consultation from a medical professional.
Miller is not alone. According to a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA] 1.9 million teenagers in the United States abuse prescription drugs.
“I did not have the energy and focus to finish my school work so I took Adderall from a friend,” Miller said.
According to Sober Living Magazine, Miller is a small part of the “silent epidemic” of Adderall abuse that “is growing because of its stimulating effects.”
Adderall is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder [ADHD], a neurological disorder that affects adults and children.
Recently, Adderall has become a highly demanded recreational drug used for various purposes.
Psychologist Christina DeLange clearly sees Adderall’s addictive natural.
“Adderall is a stimulant drug and because of this, it has the potential for abuse, not unlike cocaine,” DeLange said. “Therefore [it is] habit-forming when used for extended periods of time or used for purposes of getting high or losing weight.”
If one does not have ADHD, the effects of Adderall on the body are harmful.
“If you have someone who has a brain that gives normal attention to a learning situation and then that person takes Adderall, they are upsetting the chemical balance of their normal brain,” health teacher Ann Deboer said.
DeLange also sees the dangerous potential of abusing Adderall.
“Adderall abuse has health consequences such as potential cardiovascular problems or seizures, as well as, emotional issues such as hostility or feelings paranoia,” DeLange said.
While Miller ended up stopping his use of Adderall, he understands why some students may abuse it.
“I can understand why people take it. The stakes for many kids are so high, especially at places like Seaholm and they do what they have to do in order to get the grades they want,” Miller said.
Seaholm junior Emily Brown* took Adderall to prepare for finals.
“I’ve taken Adderall fifteen times,” Brown said. “[I] first started using it to prepare for my finals, but I wouldn’t say I am addicted.”
Selling or giving someone else Adderall is dangerous in itself.
“It’s a felony to sell or even give anyone Adderall or Rittalin,” Deboer said. “Kids need to realize that they are not pharmacists because they have not gone to six years of medical school.”
Birmingham Detective Al Smith does not see Adderall cases frequently, but understands the seriousness of abuse.
“Each case differs, but Adderall is a controlled substance that if abused or sold could result in jail time,” Smith said.