ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Federal studies show as many as 1 in 3 college students frequently use easy-to-get stimulants without prescriptions to stay awake cramming for exams.
Now U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is asking New York colleges and universities to implement new standards to make it more difficult for students to get their hands on amphetamine-based drugs like Adderall intended for people struggling with Attention Deficit Disorder and other concerns.
“This is a matter of student health, safety, and academic integrity, and we need to look at all the options when it comes to keeping potentially addictive stimulants out of the hands of our students who don’t really need them,” Schumer said.
Abuse of the drugs can lead to serious side effects including depression, anxiety and psychosis.
“When used properly to treat a legitimately diagnosed attention disorder, drugs like Adderall and Ritalin can help students focus and learn, but all too often these cases are the minority on college campuses,” Schumer said in a statement. “Plain and simple: using Adderall as a study drug is academic doping.”
Many colleges outside New York have tightened controls or refused to dispense the drugs.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found most full-time college students who had used Adderall without a valid prescription more often engaged in binge drinking and other drugs.
Schumer proposed the following policy changes:
For students diagnosed at a campus health clinic:
– Require formal contracts and follow-up diagnostics for that student.
– Require detailed medical, educational, and psychological history.
For students diagnosed outside of campus health clinic, and seeking to refill prescription:
– Require mental health evaluations with qualified health practitioner to verify diagnoses
– Require parent, guardian verification of diagnoses
Schumer also recommended offering short-term counseling, time management and procrastination workshops, and medication consultation to students with a prescription; instituting a program during freshman orientation informing students of the potential side-effects of stimulant abuse and its addictive nature and offering a list of community mental health professionals that can aid students in seeking the medication.
Schumer also suggested that if the university clinic does not feel it has the resources to properly diagnose and monitor students seeking the drugs, they should not diagnose or fill prescriptions for ADD/ADHD.
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