On many college campuses across North America prescription drug abuse is seen as common, with many college students engaging in this activity at least once while they are continuing their education after high school. While the typical drugs of abuse like marijuana and alcohol are frequently seen on campuses prescription drug abuse is also a big problem. The drugs involved are often not the narcotic pain killers that many people think of when they think about the abuse of prescription drugs. College students are just as likely to abuse drugs that were prescribed for ADHD and attention deficit disorder in the goal of being able to study and focus more. Drugs prescribed for ADHD and certain other disorders are typically stimulants, helping the student stay awake longer.
The 2015 College Prescription Drug Study examined prescription drug abuse on college campuses. This study showed that the use of prescription drugs by college students is very high. Ohio State University’s Center for the Study of Student Life research and data management associate director and the study author Anne McDaniel, Ph.D explained “Overall, one in four undergraduates reported that they used prescription pain medications, sedatives or stimulants for non-medical reasons in their lifetimes.” In the study 70% of college students admitted that obtaining a controlled stimulant without having a prescription was fairly easy at their college, and 18% of the survey respondents reported abusing stimulant prescription drugs. Pain medications were the second most abused drug in college. The study included a survey which almost 4,000 participants who were college students completed.