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Google searching for Adderall correlates with college school year, finals weeks

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: September 27, 2012

From time to time, I look on Google Trends to see what search terms are popular among Oklahomans, especially in the realm of health.

This one stood out to me today: Since school has started, “Adderall” has been a growing Google search trend among residents in Oklahoma.


As you can see, throughout the month of September, there’s been a rise in interest in searching Adderall.

It could just be a coincidence, but it is interesting to see the time periods that searching for Adderall increases.

Below, I’ve posted a chart that shows trends in searching “Adderall” over the past year. Around the time that various Oklahoma university have their finals weeks, you’ll see there was an increase — from Dec. 11 to Dec. 17, 2011, and from April 29 to May 5 of this year. Those are both right around finals week.

Adderall is a drug prescribed to people who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Some people abuse it, in an attempt to stay awake for long hours. According to this article, a good chunk of young adults are thought to abuse it:

Adderall is abused mostly by college students and young adults. Estimates are that somewhere between 20-30 percent of college students regularly abuse Adderall …

It’s important to note the side effects of Adderall abuse:

Side effects are numerous. Some are minor, some serious, and some very serious. Most users have no clue as to negative side effects and usually don’t care. Ignorance, we suppose, is bliss. The most important and most negative side-effect is the overdose. Overdose with Adderall is nasty. Results include Cardiac and/or pulmonary arrest, death, severe and lasting mental effects/defects. Which one happens to you is a matter of chance.

As an aside, Google Trends notes that “adderall side effects” is a related search term when someone is searching the term “Adderall.”

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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