2007 -2009 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Objective: Adderall, a drug used in the treatment of ADHD is one of the most frequently misused medications in the United States. In 1993 there were three million prescriptions for Adderall while in 1996 there were over ten million. Due to the over-prescription of this drug it has been abused and has caught on as a popular "study drug" on college campuses throughout the United States. There are numerous reasons why college students use this drug without a prescription: to help with concentration, to help study, to increase alertness, to get high, and to just experiment with new drugs.
Design: A analytical survey
Setting: The University of Kentucky
Methods: The correlation between the abuse of Adderall and associated nutritional side effects among college students was determined using a sample of 200 participants from the University of Kentucky. The sample consisted of 87 male participants and 113 female participants. All 200 participants were asked to complete a survey that determined the frequency of Adderall use (if any), the side effects, why they used Adderall, and if they felt the drug had addictive properties.
Results: The results of the survey showed that 59% of all males had taken Adderall without a prescription and 27% of females had taken Adderall without a prescription. Of the participants that had used Adderall, 42% had indicated that they experienced negative side effects while taking the drug and 66% said they felt that Adderall could become addictive.
Conclusion: The abuse of Adderall can actually have a serious impact on the nutritional profile of the user due to the side effects that are commonly associated with taking Adderall. Loss of appetite, stomach ache, weight loss, depression, irritability, and even kidney failure are all side effects associated with the use or abuse of mixed amphetamine salt drugs, such as Adderall. The non-medical use of prescription drugs, such as Adderall, is a risky behavior that should be thoroughly monitored and stronger regulations regarding the access of these types of drugs are needed to minimize this form of drug abuse.