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Prescription drug use among college students

By October 1, 2010 - 9:54am
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My 20 year old niece called me last night to ask me a medical question (I'm an RN). She was afraid she was dehydrated, and was asking me how to treat it. Through the converstaion she admitted to me she had been awake for 3 days straight because of tests and papers. She said she had been taking Adderall, or a type of Adderall, for three days. She is not sure of the name of the medication, or the the dosage of the medication. Someone just gave her the medication, she does not have a prescription for it. She says she only uses it when she has a lot to do, i.e. tests and papers. At this point I don't think she has an addiction, but I am 3 hours away, and I don't see her very often. My concern is the potential for addiction. As her aunt, what can I do? Is there a good way to approach this situation to prevent an addiction, or do I sit quietly, hoping and praying that she comes out of this unharmed? She has already been arrested for public intoxication, and admitted to me smoking marijuana in high school. As far as "illegal" drugs, harder than marijuana, I don't know if she has used any, but at this point would not be surprised. After talking with her, I found out (through FaceBook) she babysat a family friend's 5 year old daughter during the middle of her 3 day drug induced, sleep deprivation escapaed. Which means, she is also driving. I need help knowing how to handle this situation. Thank you in advance for you input.

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"Early Alum" means she will still be a member of the sororiety, but not an active member. In other words, she won't be participating in all the "parties." This is still no guarantte that she won't drink and be involved in drug use, but it is a step in the right direction. I think a lot of her drinking and drug use stemmed from her involvement in the sororiety. It's a baby step, but at least she took that step. Time will tell how much change has occurred. Thanks again for all the support. I really appreciate what everyone had to say:)

October 19, 2010 - 9:32am
(reply to Concernedaunt)

Thanks for updating us! I am so glad the talk with the mom went well, and it sounds like you handled it extremely well. Kudos to you!

We would love to hear an update about your niece sometime...take care!


October 19, 2010 - 12:31pm

Okay, here is an update on my niece. I talked with the mom that she babysat for the other day. I started out talking about totally different subjects. Then SHE brought the fact that my niece babysat for her. I told her I knew about it, and wondered if she noticed anything about my niece. She said she could tell she was stressed, and had a lot of studying to do. I voiced my concerns about my niece's health and the drug use. I kept it very casual, so I don't feel like I was "telling on her" (sorry, I couldn't think of a more grown up way to say it, ha ha!). So, this mom has the info, and she can make her choices from there.
The good news is, my niece called a few days later, and told me she had made the decision to go "Early Allum" with her sororiety. I think she is beginning to realize something has to give. Dare I say she is growing up? I am proud of her for making some mature choices. She still has a ways to go, but don't we all? She knows where I stand on the drug use, but she also knows I care for her beyond measure. Thanks again for allowing me to voice my concerns, and for all the wonderful imput:)

October 15, 2010 - 12:51pm

Thank you so much for your response, I think I already knew much of what you said, I just needed to hear it from someone else. I want to do everything I can, but ultimately, I know there is not much. As far as what she is studying, I am not really sure. She has changed her major so many times, it's hard to keep up with her classes. Until recently, she wanted to be a sportscaster, but now she wants to be a lawyer. Regardless of what her major is, I would assume at this point she is primarily working on basics. She partied her first year, so she said now she needs to get her GPA up to get into law school. As a nurse, I understand the pressures of college. I told her I remember many times looking at the calendar and scheduling when I would be able to sleep ( I worked full time too, so I know what you mean). She has it in her mind that college is harder now than it was for me...way back then...I graduated 17 years ago, but I don't think college has changed that much! She does not work full time, but does belong to a soroity, that she says she has to do to help her career later. I keep thinking if she can't handle school without the stimulants now, how is she going to handle law school? I don't think she has any scholarships, just a lot of student loans. Her parents (my sister is her mom) have recently divorced, so she has a lot of anger issues. Regarding the babysitting, I go back and forth on whether to say something or not. The information I got off of facebook, was a post she put on when she was babysitting on Wednesday night. When she called me last night, she said she had not slept for 3 days, so I am figuring from her own timeline, she was in the insomnia state of mind. I thought about asking her, but I am trying to tread lightly right now. I don't have actual proof, but I have a pretty good idea, thus my hesitation in saying anything to the mom. Plus, the mom is on facebook too, and has access to all her posts about the sleep deprivation, just not the drugs. I may just wait, and see if she is asked again to babysit, and then mention it. I will have to think more on that one. Thanks again for your response, it's nice to just have someone to bounce information around:)

October 1, 2010 - 10:14pm
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