- Prescription drug abuse is taking a prescription drug in ways it was not intended to be taken. This includes taking a drug without a prescription, taking a friend or family members prescription, or taking a drug to experience a “high” or other effects the drugs is not meant for.
- Painkillers such as OxyContin or Vicodin, stimulants such as Adderall or Concerta, and depressants such as Xanax or Valium are the most commonly abused prescription drugs on college campuses.
- Abusing prescription drugs is very dangerous. Any drug has side effects that doctors carefully explain to patients before prescribing them. Not knowing the details of side effects of medications before taking them is hazardous to health.
- Around two thirds of college students are offered prescription drugs by their senior year.
- Around one third of college students will abuse prescription drugs during their college career.
- The top reasons college students abuse prescription drugs are, academic pressures, maintaining focus with late-night study sessions, and dieting purposes.
- The average age when prescription drug abuse starts is around 21. So if abusers are in college, they are either juniors or seniors.
- The majority of people abusing prescription drugs in college are supplied by a friend with a prescription.
- Studies have shown that it’s easy for abusers to get prescriptions for unneeded drugs. With research, people can get a false positive diagnosis for things such as ADHD, which is treated with prescription stimulants.
- Many abusers mix prescription drugs with alcohol or other drugs, which makes them even more dangerous.
- The peak time for abusing drugs on college campuses is near the end of semesters, during finals times. Many students take stimulants in an attempt to increase their attention span and productivity.
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Sources: Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Oregon State University Student Health Services, The Daily Beast