TULSA, OK – [December 1, 2022] – As local college students prepare to take final exams, public health officials with the Tulsa Health Department’s substance abuse prevention program along with the Coalition Against Prescription and Substance Abuse of Tulsa (CAPSAT) want to remind residents of the importance of prescription drug safety.
With a prescription, pharmaceutical drugs like Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine are used to treat attention deficit disorders. Drug use among college students includes the misuse of prescription drugs, often for self-medication with the intent to enhance academic performance, cope with stress, or deal with underlying behavioral health issues.
According to 2021 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 45.2% of young adults who used any prescription stimulants in the past year misused them. These medications are often seen as acceptable and they are readily available. Most students who use prescription medications get them easily from friends or family members. Young adults who attend college are more likely to misuse prescription stimulants when compared to their non-college attending peers.
“The use of non-medical stimulants is not only dangerous, but also illegal,” cautioned THD Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator Matthew Condley. “Medications from unknown sources are at risk of containing fentanyl, which could be deadly. It is important to only use prescription stimulants as prescribed – and do not share or take anyone else’s prescription stimulants without a medical diagnosis from a medication prescriber.”
According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the illegal possession of any Schedule II substance including prescription medication is a felony and can be punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years and a fine up to $5,000.
To combat the stress, Tulsa Health Department officials encourage students to talk to your college’s student resource department about ways to better manage your stress and if needed seek advice from your medical provider.
For more information about the Tulsa Health Department’s substance abuse prevention program or the Coalition Against Prescription and Substance Abuse of Tulsa, please call 918-582-9355 or visit www.tulsa-health.org.
# # #