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University of Houston students turn to illegal drug use under pressure to succeed

By: Audris Ponce, Beatriz Ramirez and Lawrence Barajas
The Venture

With all of the pressure to succeed in class and their social life, college students have turned to the drug Adderall to stay focused enough to get good grades.

“My focus has sharply achieved total undivided attention to whatever subject I desire,” said a premed student at the University of Houston who asked to remain anonymous. “Whether it is delusional or not, my desire to study and focus has increased, wanting to do so versus doing so is distinctive.”

While some students use this medication for academic purposes, the intended use of Adderall is to treat ADD or ADHD, a behavioral disorder characterized by the inability to pay attention, hyperactivity and impulsive actions.

Adderall, a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, is a central nervous system stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

For those who have ADD, Adderall helps them pay attention and sit still. When someone without ADD or ADHD uses Adderall, they experience an enhancement of their ability to concentrate on a specific task for an extended period of time and experience a greater sense of motivation.

A college student’s life consists of a heavy course load, low quantities of sleep, working part time to cover tuition and they are still expected to maintain a respectable GPA. Whenever a big test is coming up or a fifteen-page paper is due and an all-nighter is required, the use of Adderall has become necessary to those who wish to do it all, according to students who use the drug.

Students who are determined to overcome challenges they feel they could not overcome without the drug believe that the risks are nonexistent. For some users, it is only till afterwards that they realize the damaged caused by Adderall.

“My appetite has decreased not allowing me to eat my normal diet. It creates difficulty sleeping under the effects as well. Overall, it lowers fatigue and anxiety. My blood pressure increases a slight bit and induces me to urinate more, as is the diuretic effect of the medicine,“ the pre-med student said. “When I do exercises it allows me to push further than I would normally do so, occasionally it causes stomach cramps, but I have to say it creates the perfect studying environment.”

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated…

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