University staff warns students of misuse of Adderall

Victoria Hess/Staff Photographer

One in three college students reported that they used the drug Adderall of Ritalin in a non-medical way, according to “The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.”

According to, Adderall is a prescription medication that treats Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The website said that the medication is a combination of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine, two stimulant drugs.

One Seton Hall student, who did not want to be identified, said that she takes prescribed Adderall and has family members who take the drug for medical reasons. She said that she experiences hyper focus, which is an intense focus on the task at hand, a longer attention span and a loss of appetite while on Adderall.

Health Services does not prescribe Adderall to students. Diane Lynch, interim director of Health Services, said in an email that the misuse of Adderall can lead to Psychosis and cardiovascular problems. “If a student has a history or is currently struggling with substance abuse disorder, they are at greater risk for misuse of Adderall,” Lynch said.

Lynch added that Adderall is a safe and effective medication for students that have been prescribed it by their health care provider.

Lynch added that the common side effects of Adderall are: dry mouth, insomnia, edginess and irritability, diminished appetite, weight loss, headaches, dizziness and tremors.

She added that there are additional factors that may affect a student’s ability to focus, such as sleep deprivation, relationship problems and poor diet. Anxiety should not be managed with Adderall. A clinical evaluation will help find the cause of the problem, according to Lynch.

Monica Burnette, director of the Academic Resource Center (ARC), said in an email interview that ARC offers free tutoring and skill-building workshops on time management and study skills each semester to help students. Students can also meet one-on-one with an Academic Success Coach to set goals and a study schedule, Burnette said.

ARC suggests students to reach out to additional campus resources, Burnette said, such as professors, academic advisors and the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for assistance.

“The ARC is here to help students improve, progress, and succeed at Seton Hall,” she said.

Gary Christie, assistant director of Public Safety, said in an email interview that he does not know of any cases where students were transported to the hospital for Adderall abuse.

Christie said that in the past few years there “may have been a couple of cases” where students were caught in possession of prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. However, Christie said it is not a persistent problem the way marijuana is.

Kiersten Meyers, a freshman diplomacy major, said that she knows people who have taken Adderall for medical and nonmedical reasons. She said that she is not surprised that one in three college students abuse Adderall because, “It’s kind of prevalent. It just seems like it happens,” she said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in 2006 which said that the misuse of Adderall and Dexedrine, “May cause sudden death and serious cardiovascular events.”

Seton Hall is a drug-free school zone. It is a crime if anyone is found on school property or within 1000 feet of school property, distributing, dispensing or possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute the substance. Those convicted will be sentenced to imprisonment and given a fine of up to $100,000 depending on the amount of substance in possession, according to the SHU website.

“Students should be aware that the unlawful possession of sale of prescription drugs and other controlled substances can expose them to criminal charges,” Christie said.

Samantha Todd can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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