Adderall is a combination prescription drug that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, two stimulants that affect the body’s impulse control and hyperactivity.
- Thoughts of suicide
- Mood swings
- Sleep difficulties
Everything You Must Know About Adderall
Adderall Lawsuit Brief
During the fall 2018 final exam season, University of Georgia student John Smith said he sold more than 500 Adderall pills to other students. Smith describes the months of November and December as “peak season” for selling the drug.
He sold the drug every finals season since 2016. Smith, who has since stopped selling the drug, has seen an increase in demand from former customers and other sellers.
“It’s the study drug on campus. People want to have hyperfocus during their exams,” Smith said. “They think this drug can keep them studying for hours on end.”
Adderall itself is not one drug but the brand name of a mixture of two synthetic stimulants — amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The effects of amphetamine stimulants on the body are similar to cocaine, though they last longer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Adderall was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy in 1996. The FDA has also classified Adderall as a Schedule II federally-controlled drug, which means an acceptable medical use for the drug exists but use of the substance can lead to abuse.
“At UGA, it feels like everyone is using Adderall during finals,” Smith said. “It’s become really normalized by students.”
Finals, stress, pills
In high school, Smith resorted to caffeine and energy bars to get through tests and projects. He soon turned to Adderall pills to “survive” final exams. Smith recalls hearing the sound of computer keyboards and study groups talking overnight and witnessing students exchanging pills in the dorm hallways during his freshman year of college.
“The atmosphere changed during finals, there’s always so much pressure,” Smith said. “You have to ace your exams at any cost.”
While some UGA students abuse Adderall, others are prescribed the drug to combat their ADHD. According to a 2016 survey by the Centers for Disease Control, more than 6 million children had been diagnosed with ADHD.
At age 12, Jessica Garcia was prescribed Adderall when her parents said she needed to “organize her brain.” Since then, she’s taken two 10-milligram pills a day.
Once enrolled at UGA, Garcia asked her doctor to increase her prescribed dosage of Adderall. She did this on account of the “enormous” pressure she felt to focus and study for exams. Garcia said her parents supported the change after noticing how completing coursework and finals was affecting her well-being.
Just last month, Garcia’s friend attempted to offer her money in exchange for a week’s supply of her prescribed Adderall. This wasn’t the first offer Garcia’s received, and every time her answer is the same.
“I say ‘No’ to people who want to buy my prescribed Adderall,” Garcia said. “It’s my medicine, it’s vital to my day-to-day life. It’s not candy to buy.”
On campus, Garcia hears Adderall referred to as a “study drug” or the “A-plus drug,” but said the drug should not be taken lightly, calling it “stifling” and “draining.” She experiences daily side effects including mood swings, loss of appetite and “loses” parts of her personality.
Once she turned 18, Garcia attempted to wean off of Adderall — the resulting withdrawal caused severe migraines, cravings and a lack of ability to focus.
“Medically, I need Adderall to focus and learn,” Garcia said. “It’s frustrating to see people abusing and taking it lightly.”
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