Columbia Drug Counselors See Rise in Adderall Use

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COLUMBIA- As finals approach on college campuses around Mid-Missouri, many students are feeling the pressure.

Many students on MU's campus say they rely on Adderall--a commonly known drug used to treat attention deficit disorders--in order to spend more hours at the library.

Columbia Addiction Counselor, Tanya Weigand, said the drug is trickling down into the hands of high schoolers.

Weigand said doctors may be prescribing the pill up to five times more often throughout the past several years.

And Weigand said high school students are not always using it to get ahead in their studies.

"They are taking it as prescribed, they are taking it in larger doses, they are crushing it, snorting it, smoking it and shooting it up with needles," Weigand said.

Kristin Ripperger, Pharmacist at Whaley's Pharmacy in Jefferson City, said the biggest increase she has seen is among high school and middle school students.

But Ripperger does not believe that this increase is solely so students can use the pills to get high.

"Some kids think they need it because it will help them do better in school and to focus," Ripperger said.

Weigand and Ripperger both said the abuse of the pill can cause major health concerns.

"You can become really fatigued, you can start to have an irregular heartbeat, you can become really dizzy or even faint," Ripperger said. "Its really the withdrawal effect--when you take a big dose and come off of it--that is really the harmful part of it."

Ripperger also said the withdrawal effects are what make students addicted to the prescription drug.

Weigand said she has seen, no only an increase in the amount of students who are being prescribed Adderall, but the number of students who are getting addicted.