Students and Study Drugs: Are Good Grades Worth the Risks?

How far are college students willing to go for an A? Too far, Narconon Rehab Centers has found evidence revealed in the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine are stimulants prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and college students commonly use all three of these medications without prescriptions in order to help them get good grades.

While many students and parents are aware of the dangers of using drugs such as cocaine and marijuana, the risks and dangers of using ADHD medications as study drugs are not widely known.

The Drugs

Dextroamphetamine , also known as Dexedrine, ProCentra, DextroStat and LiquADD, stimulates the nervous system by changing brain chemistry. In addition to treating ADHD, this drug is also used to treat narcolepsy.

Methylphenidate, more commonly known by the brand names Ritalin and Concerta, is very similar and used to treat the same conditions. Adderall is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, and it is the drug of choice for college students who are struggling to keep up with their demanding course workloads.

The Rationalizations

Many students simply see the use of these study drugs as a means to accomplish their goals of doing well in school and getting high grades. The “everybody else is doing it” mentality is highly prevalent, and some students even consider the drugs beneficial.

They feel the drugs allow them to focus for longer periods of time, enabling them to engage in lengthy study sessions or pull “all nighters” they would not normally be able to endure.

The assumption is that because other students have a prescription for Adderall, it must be safe. Often, students with a legitimate prescription for the drug sell individual pills to other students, charging anywhere from $5 to $20 a pill.

Students rationalize Adderall use as a way to do better in school. As a result, there is little to no sense of guilt or wrongdoing associated with taking Adderall.

The Risks

The reality is that there are many risks associated with the use of these so-called “steroids for school,” including but not limited to:

•    Negative side effects. The milder side effects of Adderall and Ritalin include headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, mood swings and restlessness. More serious side effects include seizures, motor tics, difficulty breathing and even death.

•    Addiction. Adderall and other ADHD drugs can cause chemical dependency and addiction.

•    Academic consequences. Use of ADHD drugs without a prescription violates many college and university drug policies. Furthermore, some universities are now considering the use of these drugs to be a form of cheating.

•    Criminal consequences. Adderall is a Schedule II narcotic, and possession or distribution without a prescription counts as a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for a second offense.

The Solution

Taking all the risks into consideration, the use of study drugs to get ahead in school just isn’t worth it. However, there is help available for students who are struggling with addiction to these drugs.

Narconon schools meetings are a tremendous source of support and healing for individuals overcoming addiction, and it is just one of many facilities that provide excellent rehabilitation programs and services. Call 1-800-556-8885 for information.

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