Risks when using ADHD medications not prescribed for you - AmericaNowNews.com

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Risks when using ADHD medications not prescribed for you

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ADHD drugs are better known by students as 'college crack' or 'study steroids.' They stimulate dopamine production in the brain, which heightens focus, whether or not you actually have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Stephanie Dobbs has ADHD and says, "I've had people offer money and say I'll give you this for the drug."

Stephanie struggled focusing through long lectures during her first year of college, but stopped taking meds because of the side effects. As she describes, "The side effects really bothered me. I got really bad migraines. I'd be shaky. I'd lose my appetite."

Stimulants can cause sleep problems, which is a draw for students pulling all nighters. Even Stephanie's boyfriend Steven has been approached by classmates willing to pay a premium for a pill. "They say, oh you have friends with ADHD," explains Steven. "Do you think they would slip you a couple of pills so I could have some?"

College senior Joshua Carver has tried Adderall. He tells us, "When I've gotten it, it's been $10. Considering how prescription drugs are being passed out these days, it's no shock. Honestly, the students who are buying could just go to the doctor and say I have this, this and this and most likely, they would get a prescription for it anyways."

Between 2007 and 2011, ADHD drug prescriptions shot up 39 percent from 34 to 48 million. A doctor tells us Adderall is probably the most abused drug, prescribed or street, in schools nationwide today.

According to Dr. Karen Tyson from the ADHD Center of Hawaii, "It is still going to give that body a jolt of that attention, so unfortunately it is sought out by college students and professionals as a performance drug."

Professor Doug McCulloch has ADHD and says another side effect, loss of appetite, has appeal too. He told us, "I lost a ton of weight when I first started taking it, so one of my wife's co-workers said 'wow I wonder if I could get some.'"

Some drugs have reached cult status with slogans like "Adderall, can't pass without it." Doctors warn anyone without ADHD should pass on these meds. Dr. Tyson explains, "You don't know what the side effects are going to be if you're not taking it as prescribed, so I really, really caution people to not do it."

Side effects range from twitching and hallucinations to heart attack and addiction.

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