Looking around campus, you’re sure to see the signs of finals approaching. More and more students will be spending longer hours studying, using every spare moment to catch up on homework, their jobs, and any outside activities.
In this stress-filled atmosphere of always having something else to be done, many students turn to quick fixes to help them power through the workload.
These quick fixes often take shape as prescription ADHD medications such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. Usually the students taking these drugs to help them deal with school haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD, and the number of students taking them has been increasing over the last decade.
According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health report, full-time college students are twice as likely to have used Adderall non-medically as their not full-time students counterparts. This number does vary by school, with students at private and “elite” universities much more likely to use non-prescribed ADHD medications.
Of the students who said they used the drugs, 90 percent stated they used them to help concentrate while studying. Other students said they took the drugs to stay focused in class or to be more efficient.
While all those sound like great benefits, there are serious repercussions to taking drugs that haven’t been prescribed. For ADHD medications, these include sleep problems, headaches, depressed feelings, and changes in sex drive.
Another concern about the drugs is they are classified as Schedule II substances, which places them right next to cocaine, meth, and morphine. In the long term, ADHD medications taken without a doctor’s knowledge can lead to addiction.
Medical professionals are concerned with students who don’t seem to realize the harmful effects non-medical use of prescription stimulants can cause. A life-long addiction to these drugs seems a hefty price to pay for a few extra hours of energy.
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