Prescription stimulants are big on campus

8:58am, May 24, 2006

Nearly 1 in 10 students at a New England college admits to using prescription stimulants without authorization, a new study finds.

Scientists distributed questionnaires to undergraduate students at the private college and collected 347 completed forms. More than half of the responders reported they knew someone who sold prescription stimulants illegally.

Physicians prescribe stimulants for many children and adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Companies market the drugs under such names as Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderall.

While recreational drug abuse is an old problem on college campuses, modern students appear to take stimulants obtained illicitly to help them stay awake, study, and lose weight, the researchers report in the May Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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