Many Teens Who Take Adderall as “Study Drug” Unaware it is Amphetamine

Many teens who take the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall as a “study drug” are unaware it is an amphetamine, a new study finds.

Some high school and college students take Adderall because they think it will improve their mental function and school performance, according to HealthDay. Nonmedical (not using a drug as directed by a doctor) use of amphetamines, such as Adderall, can lead to abuse and dependency, as well as medical problems such as seizures and heart problems, the article notes.

The new study included 24,000 high school seniors. Although 8 percent reported nonmedical amphetamine use, and 7 percent reported nonmedical Adderall use in the past year, 29 percent of those who used Adderall nonmedically reported no nonmedical amphetamine use.

“Our findings suggest that many young people are unaware that Adderall is an amphetamine,” lead author Joseph Palamar of NYU said in a news release. “In addition, such conflicting reports mean that prescription stimulant misuse may be underestimated.”

The study appears in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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Watch our 30-minute documentary intended for adults that explores the stress and pressures our teens face every day, as well as the unhealthy ways that many of them cope, including abusing prescription stimulants.

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