LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Many college students are familiar with "the study drug," either by name or from personal experience with it. It is a common reference to the ADHD medicine, Adderall, which is becoming more popular on college campuses in Arkansas.
While many students start taking the prescription medication to help focus on studies and boost GPAs, it can lead to a life-long addiction and to harder drugs, such as Methamphetamine.
Gina Washam said she was prescribed Adderall after she experienced problems focusing.
"I noticed they gave me energy," said Washam.
She said first she took the medication as prescribed, but soon deviated from the doctor's orders.
"it just took over. It took over my life," said Washam.
Dr. Scott Hogan is a medical doctor with a psychiatric practice in Little Rock.
"Sometimes however people will use it for other reasons," said Dr. Hogan.
He said many are introduced to Adderall in college to perform better on tests, others take it to perform better at work.
"They feel sometimes the pressure to compete, to be more aware and alert at work," said Dr. Hogan.
Dr. Hogan said in Adderall are the same ingredients used to make Methaphatamines.
"it was pretty much like Methamphetamine in a bottle," said Washam.
She said it is her misuse of Adderall which led her to the use of illegal narcotics.
"You can get online unfortunately and sometimes without a prescription get Adderall shipped directly to your house," said Dr. Hogan.
He said often times parents come to his office claiming their kids have ADHD.
"We get information from the teachers they're doing well, they have straight A's yet the parent insist they have ADHD," said Dr. Hogan.
Dr. Hogan said it is the responsibility of doctors to look for the signs of abuse and keep strict records, tracking the frequency of prescriptions.
Lisa K. Ray is a alcohol and drug counselor who runs a practice out of Conway.
"There's going to be a strain on relationships," said Ray.
She said parents and close friends are usually the first to notice there is a problem.
Ray said although addiction from Adderall or any drug is tough to shake recovery is possible.
As of Tuesday, it has been 19 months since Washam touched a drug.
"It was hard at first, but I went and got a lot of 12-step help," said Washam.
Follow Daniel on Twitter at @dan_wilkerson.
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