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The Dark Side of Adderall and Other "Study Drugs"

When used under a doctor’s guidance, Adderall, Ritalin, and similar medications can be effective in controlling ADHD. But “pressure over grades and competition for college admissions are encouraging students to abuse prescription stimulants,” says The New York Times. Employees—white collar and blue collar alike—abuse them too, for the energy and focus they can provide. And yet the cost of such abuse is high, leading to ever-increasing addiction that produces serious physical and psychological problems. This video follows Randy, a young man with no history of ADHD who began abusing Adderall in high school to improve his performance and, having later dropped out of college, relies on it to enable him to work for days at a time as a handyman for his grandmother. Commentary is provided by Jeffrey Strawn, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and faculty member at the University of Cincinnati, and Richard L. Baum, a psychologist with A.S.A.P., the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program. A Cambridge Educational/Endeavor Pictures Coproduction. (15 minutes)

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Meet an Addict
Randy has been abusing Adderall for over seven years. He talks about his childhood and his first experience with the prescription drug.