Students are using stimulants as study aids. “The drugs have fallen into favor with people without ADHD, people who are looking for an occasional mental boost to get them through a long night of studying. Students say that, while caffeine will keep you awake, prescription stimulants such as Adderall increase your ability to concentrate.

The popularity of stimulant use varies widely among college campuses. According to a national survey of nearly 11,000 students published this year in the journal Addiction, colleges with more competitive admission standards have the highest rates of nonmedical use — up to 25 percent.”

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  • Lawrence Markman, M.D.

    I am in a quandry about what to do with ADHD treatment for college students. I know that stimulant medication is being used sporadically instead of regularly. I know medications are being traded and sold to other students. I know that students who discover stimulant medications as study aids are going to physicians with exaggerated or phony symptoms looking for prescriptions.

    I will only treat college students for ADHD who were diagnosed prior to entering college. I will only use long acting, sustained release forms of Ritalin and Adderall. The LA/XR forms may be less susceptible to abuse. I require students to sign a “responsible use” contract with a “one strike and you’re out” clause. I also require a twice a year follow-up visit. Treating ADHD has the same issues as treating chronic pain.