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Monday, September 20, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Response to “Students seek Adderall…”

My name is Stephanie Lake and I’m the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) Intervention Services Coordinator at Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) here on campus. I am responding to the article in the April 11, Aggie titled “Students seek Adderall for academic boost.”

There were some good points made in this article and some points that I wish to expand upon. First and foremost, Adderall is a drug, and even with intermittent use it can become addictive. In fact, it is a Schedule II drug, and that means it has a strong addiction liability. Only individuals who are prescribed this drug by a healthcare provider should use Adderall, because people using the drug when use is not clinically indicated — and usually that means a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — can and often do experience some serious negative effects that include tolerance, mania and psychosis.

We also want to mention that if a student is not sure if he or she has a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, SHCS provides assessment and they should make an appointment with their primary care provider at SHCS.

Even with occasional use, when a person stops using Adderall, the person can experience the withdrawal effects specific to using and then stopping stimulants. Katie made mention of this in the article when she noticed that her stomach hurt and how she had headaches. Some of the other withdrawal effects are becoming sluggish, fatigue, apathy, disorientation, depression, and aches and pains. The other phenomenon that happens is that once a person quits using they can start to crave the drug three, six, nine and even 12 months after complete abstinence for no apparent reason. This is because the Adderall has changed the user’s brain chemistry. This is another reason it is important for someone to seek help if they are using non-prescribed (or are abusing) Adderall or other stimulants.

My job is to help students who may be struggling with alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues to get the help they need and overcome these problems. I offer free, confidential individual counseling and my office is located at the Student Health and Wellness Center. If you or a friend would like to set up an appointment, call (530) 752-6334 or use Health-e-Messaging (go to make an appointment and select ATOD Counseling).

We are here to help.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Lake
Master of Education, Certificated Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV)
Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug (ATOD) Intervention Services Coordinator

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