Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Amy D. Johnson

Thesis Professor Department

Cross-Disciplinary Studies

Thesis Reader(s)

Richard E. Osborn, Carla R. Warner


The purpose of this paper is to understand ADHD stimulant abuse among college students. Adderall and other ADHD stimulants are socially acceptable in the college student community. Students believe Adderall is safe, harmless, and beneficial, but the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies Adderall, along with other ADHD stimulants, as Schedule II substances because of their addictive nature. Among the average college student population, Adderall is not perceived as a dangerous Schedule II drug such as cocaine, oxycotin, opium, or morphine. Instead, Adderall is seen as a way to “perk up” and become or stay alert. College students rationalize that using the drug is no different than drinking coffee, using energy drinks, or taking energy tablets. College students are in denial that ADHD stimulants are dangerous and addictive in nature like any other habit-forming narcotic. The goal of this paper is to discuss and understand why college students abuse ADHD stimulants and rationalize their behavior for doing so. Suggestions for educators, researchers, and medical practitioners are also included. The significance of this paper is to convey a better understanding as to why college students abuse ADHD stimulants.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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