College classes require a lot more commitment and studying than high school classes do. Students can find themselves struggling to keep up with the heavier workload and higher expectations during their university years. Some students will do anything to give themselves an edge, even if they have to break the law and risk their safety.
So-called study drugs are a popular tool on many college campuses. However, the vast majority of the medications students take to enhance their academic performance aren’t medications that they should have access to. Controlled substances taken without the recommendation and supervision of a physician put an individual at greater risk of adverse outcomes like addiction or overdose.
Some college students buy medication from others on campus, leading to a thriving market for ADHD medication and other prescription stimulants. A surprising number of college students participate in the intentional misuse of these prescription drugs.
About one in five college students admit using drugs to help them study
Questionable decisions abound during the college years, including the idea that breaking the law to pass an exam is a wise choice. The intentional misuse of prescription medication has become so commonplace on college campuses that many students don’t question the behavior at all.
Self-reported information about stimulants and other drug use indicates that about 20% of currently enrolled college students use medication to help themselves study or to stay awake.
Some of the more commonly abused prescription medications for study purposes include Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Vyvanse and Focalin.
The intention of the drug abuse will matter less than the law breaking
Students buying medication from someone else in their dorm and then using that medication to stay up all night studying probably think they won’t get caught. They likely also assume that if they do get caught, they will only face the slap on the wrist.
The truth is that the abuse of study drugs can have many consequences. The student could face removal from campus living facilities, the termination of their enrollment, the end of scholarships or even incarceration if they face state charges.
Understanding how commonplace study drug abuse is on college campuses can help students make better decisions or help parents understand the issues their college students face.