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Study: Adderall Usage Up Among College Students

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(credit: CBS) Liz Collin
At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering...
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CBS Minnesota (con't)

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By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It is midterm week at colleges across Minnesota. Rather than just studying, many students are turning to a prescription pill to perform in class — Adderall.

“What’s it do? It makes you focus and keeps you up,” one student said.

The drug is used to treat attention deficit disorder.

Colleges consider it one of the most commonly abused prescriptions. Last year alone, more than 6 percent of University of Minnesota students admitted they used someone else’s prescription medication.

Gary Christenson, director of mental health at the U’s Boynton Health Service, said one pill can keep students focused for a few hours or for an entire night.

“The main reason the drugs are misused is for studying to try to enhance studying,” Christenson said.

Abuse is only on the rise as more people are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Christenson says there are also serious risks like hallucinations and psychotic reactions.

“It’s illegal to be using someone else’s stimulant medications,” Christenson said.

As tests and projects pile up, many students don’t seem to care if it’s safe turning to something they call “a study drug” to relieve stress before their break.

“There are a lot of things illegal in this country,” another student said.

Here are more college statistics that show just how common this is: 25 percent of students who have a stimulant prescription have been asked for pills, 30 percent have sold them.

They usually sell between them for $5 to $10 per pill.

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