Students popping ADD meds although long-term effects unknown

Western Illinois University Freshmen Andrew Young has seen many of his classmates abuse ADD medication.

Prescription medications have helped many college students with ADD and ADHD to focus. But some students prescribed these medications sell their pills to other students for recreational purposes.

Western Illinois University Freshmen Andrew Young has seen many of his classmates abuse ADD medication.

"I wouldn't even say so much for studying, I just see, I have friends on my floor that I know take Adderall and other drugs that I don't know, just get them up for the day, I guess," Andrew Young said.

Mental health experts say the un-prescribed use of these drugs can cause a negative mind-altering side effects.

Frank Froman is a clinical Psychologist at Psychology Associates in Quincy. His field primarily deals with the assessment and treatment of patients who suffer from mental illness.

Although he believes that in most cases prescription drugs can help most patients, Froman says people who are not properly diagnosed by a medical physician should never take them.

"It definitely has a definite capacity to wind up being addictive and habit forming. I have seen some kids take it and they use it on exam day," Froman said.

Froman says in addition to damage to the liver, experts don't know what the long-term effects of these medications will have.

"Long-term studies about what this stuff can do long term, I can only suggest that most times when you put something foreign in your body, it has two effects, it has the effects that you want, and it also has the effects that you don't want," Froman said.

Young says the drugs are in high demand and students pay big bucks for them.

"I wouldn't even doubt, probably almost a hundred bucks a month at least," Young said.

Froman believes that as long as doctors freely prescribe the medication it will continue to be abused.

"They're pouring into the system. Doctors are receiving continued education on how to identify ADHD in kids. The emphasis right now is more medication rather than less," Froman said.

According to Froman, besides a CT or Brain Scan, the only way to determine the long-term effects of prescription medication on someone's mind, is to preform an autopsy on their brain to see what damages has been done.