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Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Final-exam week may not be the only time students are turning to prescription drugs for a little study aid.  

Abuse of prescription drugs is becoming more commonplace among college students, according to a new study.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids released a study Thursday that revealed one in five college students have abused prescription drugs at least once in their life.

Of the 1,600 students polled in the study, 60 percent admitted to abusing Adderall, 20 percent of students admitted to abusing Ritalin, and 14 percent admitted to abusing Vyvanse. These drugs are commonly prescribed to individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

According to the 2010 Healthy Gators Student Survey, 19.9 percent of the UF students who responded admitted to trying a prescription drug for non-medical reasons. These are very low rates, Maureen Miller, director of GatorWell, wrote in an email.

“It is really important students practice healthy behaviors and make healthy decisions in regards to their academic performance and time management, especially while they’re in college because once graduating college and entering into the next phase of their life, they will still be experiencing stressors,” she said.

Miller said she recommends getting a healthy amount of sleep, organizing tasks and assignments in a calendar, using study buddies, writing down goals ahead of time and scheduling daily relaxation time as healthy alternatives to prescription drug abuse.

Kali Milner, a 21-year-old UF industrial engineering senior, said she’s never abused prescription drugs but can imagine her classmates would use the drugs to cope with heavy workloads.

“I think if you know someone with access to it, you’re more likely to do it,” she said.

Prescription drugs can have adverse effects when taken by someone they were not prescribed to, Miller said.

“They are really taking a chance with their health and not knowing how their body will potentially interact with that medication,” said Miller.

[A version of this story ran on page 3 on 11/18/2014]

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