What are colleges everywhere cracking down on these days? It’s not the usual suspects, like marijuana and alcohol. It’s ADHD drug abuse.
Statistics show more than 1 in 3 college students take ADHD meds, like Adderall, purely because it boosts concentration and focus. And many students pop the so-called “study pills” before exams and finals to get an edge.
School administrators say that a lot of students fake symptoms, like having trouble focusing, and easily get prescriptions from college clinics. Then, students use the pills themselves to study, or sell them to peers for $5 a pop.
But studies have found that Adderall abuse can cause everything from anxiety, to depression, to psychosis. So a growing number of colleges are making it virtually impossible to get diagnosed with ADHD, and receive medication, on campus premises.
For example, George Mason University bans their medical team from making ADHD diagnoses or prescribing meds to students. The University of Alabama and Fresno State require students to sign contracts promising not to abuse pills or sell them. If they do, they get kicked out of school.
At Marquette University, campus nurses call students’ parents to get their full medical histories. And Penn State, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech couldn’t handle the volume of requests for ADHD pills, so they now refer students to off-campus medical experts.
Critics blast the tough new restrictions as ADHD discrimination, and point out that most schools don’t have similar policies about other psychiatric conditions.
But most parents are in favor of the new restrictions. When schools do go through the trouble of diagnosing kids correctly, with two months of testing and paperwork, that makes parents feel that their kids are getting help, not abusing pills.