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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Schumer: Adderall abuse needs attention

  • U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is urging New York’s colleges and universities to make it more difficult for students to obtain amphetamine-based drugs like Adderall, which he said are being abused at alarming rates.

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  • U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is urging New York’s colleges and universities to make it more difficult for students to obtain amphetamine-based drugs like Adderall, which he said are being abused at alarming rates.
    In a letter to SUNY President Nancy Zimpher and Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities President Laura Anglin, Schumer asked that the state’s public and private universities enact more-stringent policies for prescribing stimulants. He said the “study drugs” are too easy to obtain.
    “ When used properly to treat a legitimately diagnosed attention disorder, drugs like Adderall and Ritalin can help students focus and learn, but all too often, these cases are the minority on college campuses,” Schumer, D N.Y., said. “Plain and simple: Using Adderall as a study drug is academic doping, and what's more, it can lead to abuse and serious negative like depression, anxiety, and in some cases, psychosis.”
    Schumer said students diagnosed with attention disorders at campus health clinics should be required to enter into formal contracts and make themselves available for follow-up diagnostics. Also, their medical, educational and psychological histories should be reviewed.
    Also, the senator said students seeking a prescription refill after an off -campus diagnosis should undergo mental-health evaluations.
    A parent or guardian should be required to verify the diagnosis, as well, Schumer said.
    Additionally, colleges should proactively educate students about stimulant abuse, and universities that do not have the resources to properly diagnose and monitor students should not fill prescriptions for attention disorders.
    “This is a matter of student health, safety and academic integrity, and we need to look at all the options when it comes to keeping potentially addictive stimulants out of the hands of our students who don’t really need them,” Schumer said.
    According to a variety of studies, 15-35 percent of college students have taken Adderrall-like drugs illicitly. Using those figures, approximately 75,000 students in upstate New York have abused amphetamine-based drugs, including 450 students in Steuben County and 225 in Chemung County.
    According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, full-time college students ages 18-22 are twice as likely to use Adderall non-medically than those who are not in college. Nearly 90 percent of the abusers were binge alcohol drinkers, and they were more likely to use other illicit drugs, the study found.
     

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