Willy Drinkwater, M.Ed, CADC-II, LADC-I

Addiction Counselor & Co-Occurring Disorders Specialist
                              Private Practice/Educator/Lecturer

Information on Adderall



Adderall is a prescription medication commonly prescribed for ‘attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.’ (ADHD)  However many college students are taking the drug stating it helps them to study longer and without distractions.  They refer to it as ‘the study’ drug.

Some colleges and universities across the country estimate that the number of students that have used Adderall or other stimulants such as Ritalin at some time during their academic career to be ranging between 30-80%.  The colleges and universities in the northeast record the highest levels of use.

One of the problems in particular is that if a person is on Adderall and drinking alcohol their blood alcohol level may rise to the point of alcohol poisoning and they may not be aware of it due to Adderall’s stimulating effect.

Students are obtaining it either by buying it from fellow students that have legal prescriptions (roughly 30%), or in many instances they will learn the criteria to be diagnosed with ADHD and then find a doctor in the student health services on campus or an outside doctor to prescribe.

Another area of concern I have is for those that may have a mental health predisposition based on family history.  For instance a person that has a family history of Bipolar Disorder may try Adderall and end up having a manic or hypo-manic episode for the first time due to the highly stimulating effect of Adderall.  In a person with true ADHD, Adderall has a paradoxical or opposite effect by helping them to organize their thoughts rather than speeding them up or giving them a feeling of euphoria.

It can be difficult to dissuade a student from using Adderall in cases where they have seen their grades improve dramatically.  Among the links I am listing below is one that describes the short/long term effects, and possible side-effects of Adderall.  There will also be a link that discusses the effects of mixing alcohol and Adderall.

The short/long term effects, and possible side-effects of Adderall:



The effects of mixing alcohol and Amphetamines (such as Adderall):



If you need additional information or have questions please feel to contact me.

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