Stories from the Edge: Keeping ADHD meds to yourself

Editor’s Note:  This month we’ve written two articles about the dangers of sharing your ADHD meds.  This week, we get perspective on the issue from our recently graduated student blogger, Kelsey Peterson.

The summer before I started college my brother and I had a talk about our medication. My brother who is two years older than me was in college and also has ADHD like myself. He took Adderall that was prescribed by his doctor and helped him focus in school. My doctor prescribed Concerta for me. The summer before I started school John and I were talking about college and how to have fun, and do well in my classes. John said, that people are going to find out that I take medication and that my new friends were going to want to buy them from me or for me to give some to them.

My first reaction was “oh great I can make some extra money!” John was like “no”. He explained to me that not only is that illegal but if I give my medication to someone that means that I don’t have medication to take when my prescription runs out. Also and most importantly I could get kicked out of school. During my four years in college many of my friends knew that I had ADHD and I took medication to help me focus.  Most of those friends asked me for some of my pills.

After that conversation with my brother I never thought twice about giving or selling my medication to anyone but I did develop strategies to get around the peer pressure situation.

1)   I would say “I’m so sorry I only have a few left and I need them”

2)   I would say “Oh I just ran out! I’m waiting to get my refill in the mail”

3)   When I lived in the dorms I would keep them in my locked drawer not with my bathroom stuff like my other vitamins.

4)   When I lived in an apartment with roommates I would leave them in my sock drawer and lock my room when we had parties.

Unfortunately students with out ADHD think of our medication as a fun drug, to us it’s important. Keep your medication safe and don’t sacrifice your grades because of what your new friends might think.

My best friend in college put a lot of pressure on me to give her some of my medication. It was hard to constantly make excuses about why I couldn’t so finally I decided if she was my best friend then she will respect my decision. And I told her that I didn’t feel comfortable giving them to people and if she thought she needed them to focus then she should talk to her doctor. She took my advice and made a appointment with her doctor. Turns out she has ADHD too.

How do you deal with the pressure?

Related articles:

Introducing Kelsey Peterson & Stories from the Edge

A student perspective on getting homework done, ADHD style

What you need to know about misuse of ADHD medication on college campuses

ADHD medication safety punch list

Learn About Edge Executive Function Coaching


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