In an age where the world is becoming more and more competitive and job status and employment are increasingly becoming about performance and keeping up with demands, people are turning to a drug to give them an edge. Adderall, a stimulant prescribed for the popular diagnosis of ADHD, is the drug many young people, some as young as high school, use to give them a boost in their production.
In competitive universities, the drugs circulate through students, many who are not prescribed the drug as a medicine. Statistically, from 2007 to 2011 the numbers jumped from 5.6 million prescriptions written for Adderall to over 14 million, a 150 percent increase.
Dr. David Meyer, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, has a theory about young people and their Adderall use. “I think part of the increase in the rate of prescriptions is that people both younger and older are coming to feel totally overloaded with bunches of information and are trying to cope with the increasing demands as best they can.”
Modern Society Pushes Professionals Toward Drug Use
Public Relations professionals, among others, are responsible for keeping up with the trends. Their jobs are to, well, relate to the public. They need to know what’s hot and what’s not. In today’s world, their computers are their employment life.
As one public relations professional learned, the demands sometimes outweighed her ability to keep up. “I’m expected to consume so much media and data every day on top of what I’m already supposed to do,” she said. “I need to stay ahead of the trends.” And to keep up, she needed a boost.
Adderall, as with most drugs, are so popular in the professional world because they work. The chemicals in the drug stimulate the brain to give the increased alertness that people feel they need to make it in today’s society. Some said the drug cleared their thoughts and allowed them to produce better.
Others stated Adderall makes them a better professional. Still others felt uncomfortable taking the drug to do certain aspects of their jobs, like using Adderall to be a better producer makes their employment a lie. To compensate, they would stay up all night working, then take the drug the next morning to give them a boost.
This relationship is a cause of what Dr. Anjan Chatterjee calls “cosmetic neurology”. Dr. Chatterjee, a neurology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, views this use of Adderall on the same level as performance enhancing drugs that are popular in sports. In his eyes, the question is now can we (society) live with what we have created – a drug-enhanced society.
The Scares of Adderall
Putting the effects stimulants have on the body aside, there are several statistical facts about Adderall that are alarming.
- College students are twice as likely to abuse Adderall. They also have a higher likelihood for using Adderall without a prescription. Students are more likely to use the drug during midterm and finals week. Nationally, 30-40 percent of college students reported taking a stimulant during these times.
- 15 percent of college students have taken a stimulant like Adderall and Ritalin in the past year.
- Adderall has addictive properties. With extended use, users will become addicted to Adderall.
- Overdoses on Adderall can lead to heart failure and cause permanent brain damage.
- 95 percent of the reported abuse cases involved people faking ADD/ADHD symptoms to obtain prescriptions for Adderall.
- Adderall abusers are more likely to be binge drinkers.
Adderall is a Schedule II drug. Anyone caught using without a prescription can face serious consequences, including prison time and hefty fines, which are even higher for those with intent to sell. Teens and young people believe Adderall is safer to abuse than other drugs because of its proclaimed medicinal value, and with the rising reports of use in the workplace, the numbers will only continue to rise.