AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - College can be stressful, and more and more students are turning to prescription medications to deal with the everyday workload.
However, drugs to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or A.D.H.D., are becoming easily accessible to students who are not prescribed.
"If one is taking ADHD medications in addition to any other medication, the importance of collaborating with their doctor and knowing what the side effects are because even if they are taking it as prescribed, they may experience side effects," explains Dr. Kristee Treadwell of Auburn University's counseling services.
Students who are not prescribed to these medications and takes them only a few times of year, like exam time, could see harmful effects.
"It can negatively affect one's sleep pattern sometimes resulting in insomnia and one can imagine if that continues for multiple days that there can be potential manic like symptoms one may experience," says Dr. Treadwell.
Dozens of colleges are tightening the rules on the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. and the prescription of medications like Ritalin and Adderall.
According to the New York Times, The University of Alabama requires students to sign contracts promising not to misuse pills or share them with classmates.
And in a rare policy, students receiving prescriptions must see a therapist for at least one session a month.
At AU, counseling services will refer students to a full psychiatric evaluation to make sure a difference is made between anxiety and A.D.H.D.
"Students would be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation before medications were prescribed in an effort to reduce the potential for an individual to either contrive symptoms in an effort to get the medication or if there's that potential to express thinking they may have A.D.H.D and precautionary to prescribing before it is determined," explains Dr. Treadwell.