Some Texas college students feel so much pressure that they resort to taking certain drugs. So-called “study drugs” are often legally prescribed to individuals with legitimate medical conditions. However, when they’re used by college students, they can do more harm than good.
What are study drugs?
Study drugs are drugs that are often taken by college students as a way to stay awake and alert so that they can cram on studying or completing homework and other assignments. Typically, these drugs are stimulants that are normally prescribed to people who have specific medical conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) so they can better focus.
The misuse of these drugs dates back decades when people would take them to stay alert or awake. At one point, people resorted to taking amphetamines, also known as “speed” or “uppers.” Now, study drugs include things like Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse. While it’s normally safe to take these drugs when legally prescribed to treat ADHD, ADD or narcolepsy, they can be harmful when they are incorrectly used.
How many students take study drugs?
Around one out of every five college students claims to have used study drugs. Many of those students understand the risks associated with them but have taken them regardless. White male undergraduates are the most likely to abuse study drugs. Students more likely to take them also have GPAs of 3.0 or lower.
Why are study drugs dangerous?
Study drugs are dangerous when misused because of their risk of abuse. Because these substances are stimulants, a person can become physically and psychologically dependent on them, which can lead to addiction.
Students who take study drugs often state that they feel unstoppable, which makes the effects similar to those acquired through cocaine use. The drugs can result in adverse side effects like anxiety, paranoia, upset stomach, heart palpitations and even heart attack. Abusing study drugs could even open the door to harder drug abuse later on.