2010-2011 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
The prevalence of prescription drug stimulants, such as Adderall, has shown a steady increase on college campuses over the past decade. It is believed that students use these drugs as a way to increase alertness, lose weight, stay awake longer, and improve their overall academic performance. To examine the nutritional side effects of prescription drug Adderall abuse, 200 undergraduate students were surveyed at the University of Kentucky. The participants included 66 males and 134 females (age 20.32 +/- 2.73 years). The subjects were surveyed on side effects, reasons for consuming Adderall, and how they thought it affected their overall nutritional health. The majority of the students who reported taking Adderall believed that it allowed them to study and perform better. The main reason students took the drug was to help them study and concentrate. 65% of students surveyed reported experiencing a loss of appetite while taking the stimulant. Out of those 65% participants, only 13.4% believed that taking Adderall affected their overall nutritional health. All of the students reported that it was easy to obtain Adderall on the University of Kentucky's campus. This demonstrates that prescription drug stimulants are being abused on college campuses. Students need to be informed of the negative side effects associated with abusing prescription drug stimulants, like Adderall, so that they can become more knowledgeable of how it will affect their overall nutritional health.