When people think about prescription drug abuse they often think about drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin or Percocet. While these are very popular drugs to abuse among addicts, other prescription drugs like Adderall or Ritalin have been popular substances on college campuses.
These drugs are often abused because students claim they need something to help them study, but in reality they are simply another form of amphetamine and are highly addictive. Since so many young people are diagnosed with ADHD now and given a prescription for a stimulant, medication like Ritalin or Adderall can be easily obtained from those willing to sell their pills to other students.
As the focus on stopping the prescription drug abuse epidemic increases, more programs are being established to take back old, unused medications. Law enforcement and policy makers are designating more locations for people to drop off their extra prescriptions when they are done using them, instead of having them sit in their medicine cabinet. Students who no longer need their prescriptions for ADHD, or who have leftover pills, are encouraged to participate in these disposal options around their area.
“Excess prescription drugs among students may lead to said surpluses being sold or shared with other students, particularly in the case of ‘study aids’ such as Adderall and Ritalin,” explained a student who is advocating for other students to get rid of their unused prescriptions in a safer, more ethical way.
Reports indicate that more than half of the people who admitted to prescription drug abuse in the last year obtained the drugs from a family member or friend for free. Establishing more drop-off locations for prescriptions is important, and educating the public of the importance of safely disposing their medications is an additional step that needs to be taken by public officials and colleges.
Universities around the country are encouraged to participate in the programs allowing others to drop off prescriptions. Since this movement is somewhat new, it is unclear how many people are participating in the medication disposal on a collegiate level. However, drug take-back sites are essential and have collected millions of tons of old prescriptions overall.