A “study drug” is the latest drug trend that seems to be sweeping college campuses nation-wide, considering that over 67% of college students abuse them, particularly Adderall, according to a survey in 2014 from Recovery Brands. Ritalin abuse has also been on the rise considering that 63% of young adults from the same survey also admitted to illicit use in the past several years.

College students believe the drugs will improve their self-disciple in studying and enhance their concentration – but that is true only in the case of the individuals who are actually prescribed them. In reality, most college students are unaware of the fact that study drugs are more dangerous than they appear:

These are the reasons why:

Study drugs are a legitimate medication

They are used to treat the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD):

  • Behavioral problems: aggression, acting without rational impulse
  • Cognitive disabilities: short attention span, forgetfulness, difficulty learning
  • Sporadic mood swings and anxiety

Subsequently, doctors commonly prescribe them:

  • Amphetamines: Adderall and Dexedrine
  • Dexmethylphenidates: Focalin and Attenade
  • Lisdexamfetamine: Vyvanse,
  • Methylphenidates: Concerta and Ritalin

Multiple people use them without consequence, thus giving off the impression there is nothing to worry about

Since study drugs are used on college campuses, one may believe that if multiple people seem to use them without consequence, they will most likely be on the same boat. However, this is a hazardous misconception because study drugs can trigger severely negative reactions, depending on the person.

They do provide positive benefits – but only to those diagnosed with ADHD and ADD; and the risk always outweighs the benefits

While a study drug does improve concentration abilities, that only is viable for those who are medically diagnosed with ADHD and ADD. Students who abuse study drugs always take more than a recommended medicated amount and accidentally overdose without realizing. The risks of abusing study drugs are both psychological and physical, both of which will last long-term or permanently, despite originally having short-term side effects.

The following risks are a result of study drug abuse:

  • Addiction and emotional dependence
  • Cardiovascular issues such as high blood-pressure, seizures, heart failure, and stroke
  • Digestive problems, diarrhea, and constipation
  • Episodes of paranoia, aggression, depression, and anxiety

Study drugs are easily accessible from peers

Study drugs can be bought or stolen from peers, especially from those with a prescription, considering that the medication is usually with a diagnosed person at all times. If you are a person with ADHD/ADD, only inform those you trust and reject any proposal of profit from peers. If caught selling or sharing your medication, the legal consequences will be treated just as seriously if it were hard street drugs.

Alternatives to study drugs

There are numerous methods that are better alternatives in comparison to the use of study drugs. In fact, you don’t need study drugs or shouldn’t feel tempted by them at all. To tackle studying and finish homework, all you need to do is have the right mindset and commit to positive actions.

Use the following methods below to overcome the concentration problems and stress:  

Efficient time management skills

If feeling constrained by time, take a moment to reflect on your work ethic and time management skills. As a college student, it feels impossible to do all things in a day. But in actuality, organizing your tasks and removing sources of distraction will make work that needs be done more feasible to overcome. You should also take note to remember that cramming and waiting until the last minute to study is an unhealthy habit anyway. If studying for an upcoming test, make the effort to study components of the test over the course of several days or weeks on the daily and give yourself breaks in-between study sessions as opposed to doing everything in one go.

Proper coping mechanisms for stress

Study drugs should not be a resource that is used to cope with stress. Instead, opt for healthy coping strategies such as investing time into a hobby when you’re not studying, meditation, journaling, or simply spending a moment catching up with friends and having a great conversation. Professional help is also available to you on campus in the counseling office.

Healthy diet and exercise

Last but not least, eat a healthy diet and exercise daily. A healthy diet includes avoiding stimulants such as energy drinks and coffee (which are anxiety-inducers), and instead choosing wholesome food to eat that satisfies your appetite, keeps you energized, and feeling your best.

Exercise, in addition to a healthy diet, also improves the quality of your emotional physical well-being because it kickstarts the production of dopamine and endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers that stabilize your mood and reduces the amount of cortisol that surges through your veins.

In conclusion, study drugs will always be more dangerous than what they appear to be. When in college, shift your focus towards improving your work ethic and time management skills and learn what stress coping mechanisms work best for you. Exams and homework may seem unbearable, but they can always be overcome; and stress and feeling overwhelmed are temporary. Your health and well-being are not worth the chronic or permanent damages caused by study drugs.

Post Courtesy of: Trevor McDonald

*Please note that CollegeCures.com does not personally endorse any medication, supplement or product mentioned in this article or anywhere on the website.

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