Free Resources to Help College Students Safely Manage Prescribed Stimulant Medications for ADHD
Whether at home or on campus, if you are a college student with ADHD trying to manage your prescription stimulant medication, these free resources provide information about managing your prescription safely and responsibly.
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College can be stressful and overwhelming, especially now if your routine has changed due to COVID-19. If you are a college student with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you have a responsibility to make sure you use and store your prescription stimulant medications safely – whether you are taking classes online, attending classes in-person on campus, or coming home for winter break. There are ways to help manage your prescription stimulant medications safely for each of these situations. And you don’t have to do it alone. New resources have been developed to share information about managing these medications responsibly.
For college students with ADHD who have already been prescribed a stimulant medication by a healthcare professional, Adlon Therapeutics L.P. and the Prescription Drug Safety Network have developed a free, interactive video series and digital course focused on safe and responsible medication use. These resources were created using information compiled from government and peer-reviewed sources written by medical professionals.
The digital course’s four modules – intended to take about five minutes each – cover responsible use of prescribed stimulant medications, including the following:
- when to talk to your doctor about potential side effects
- how to read prescription bottle labels and medication guides
- how to prevent misuse and refuse requests from others to share your prescription stimulant medication
- how to safely store and dispose of prescription stimulant medications
Sample Question #1: What If You Feel Like You Should Take More of Your Prescription Stimulant ADHD Medication Than Your Doctor Prescribed?
Have you ever felt like your prescription stimulant medication isn’t strong enough and that you should be taking more than what your doctor prescribed? If this sounds familiar to you, you may relate to Ben’s story.
Ben is a college freshman adjusting to life on campus and to his new prescription stimulant medication to treat his ADHD. He is unsure whether his prescription is strong enough and whether he should talk to his father or doctor about how he is feeling.
If you, like Ben, have any questions or concerns about your prescription at any time, talk with your doctor. Don’t make changes to your prescribed dose by yourself. Your doctor is the only one that can evaluate whether an adjustment to your dosage is needed. Using a prescription stimulant medication in any way that is not as prescribed by a healthcare professional is considered misuse of your prescription and can carry dangerous consequences.1,2
Sample Question #2: How Do You Safely Store & Dispose of Your Prescription Stimulant Medication?
If you have siblings at home, you may relate to Morgan’s situation.
Morgan, a college student with ADHD, is home from college and learning how to properly store her prescription stimulant medication while she is there. Her little sister is curious about everything in Morgan’s life, and that includes her prescription stimulant medication. How should Morgan make sure her sister doesn’t take her prescription stimulant medication?
The recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to make sure your medication bottle’s safety cap is locked, and to store the bottle in a lock box or other secure storage device after every use.3 For proper disposal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calls for dropping off unwanted prescription stimulants medications at an authorized take-back site. As an alternate, you can remove prescription stimulant medications from their original container and mix them with an undesirable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds. To protect your identity, make sure to also remove or scratch out all personal information on the bottle labels.4
Take Control and Help Build Better Habits
Being prepared for potential situations and building safe, responsible habits now can help you to effectively manage your prescription stimulant medication while you continue your college career and in other life transitions – while helping to keep others safe in the process.
This post is sponsored by and was developed in partnership with Adlon Therapeutics L.P., a subsidiary of Purdue Pharma L.P.
The Prescription Drug Safety Network is a nationwide coalition of public and private-sector organizations convened by EVERFI, a national leader in prevention education, to help address prescription drug misuse among teens and young adults, with a focus on at-risk communities.
1NIDA. 2020, June 25. Glossary. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/glossary
2Lakhan SE, Kirchgessner A. Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects. Brian and Behavior. 2012; 2(5): 661–677. July 2012. Accessed November 6, 2020.
3U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patient Safety: Put Your Medicines Up and Away and Out of Sight. https://www.cdc.gov/features/medicationstorage/index.html. June 10, 2020. Accessed November 6, 2020
4U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Drug Disposal: Dispose “Non-Flush List” Medicine in Trash https://www.fda.gov/drugs/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know/drug-disposal-dispose-non-flush-list-medicine-trash. Accessed November 6, 2020. MR-07204
Updated on January 24, 2021