Sometimes college students feel the need to take certain types of drugs because they believe the drugs will help them to have better concentration, increased stamina, or better overall performance in school. The most commonly used and abused drugs by students are known as study drugs.
In most cases, study drugs are stimulants that can only be obtained by prescription or through illegal means. They are not available for purchase over the counter. Some of the conditions for which these drugs are routinely prescribed are narcolepsy, depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is commonly known as ADHD.
Stimulant drugs include methamphetamine, Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, Concerta, and cocaine. When prescription stimulants are used in their proper dosages by the people they are prescribed for, they are actually fairly safe and usually have limited side effects. The problems occur when people begin taking these drugs without having a valid prescription for them. When people do this, they rarely follow the prescribed dosage recommendations for the particular drugs they are using. In general, people who take study drugs without a valid prescription do so with the intent of abusing them so that they can stay awake or be more alert.
Stimulant drugs are addictive, particularly when they are taken regularly for extended periods of time. If someone begins taking another person’s prescription medication, the risk for serious side effects increases dramatically. It is important to remember that prescriptions are written for people based on a number of different criteria including the person’s height, weight, age, current medical condition, previous medical history, and other medications that the person is currently using. It is simply not safe to ever take drugs that have not been prescribed for you by a physician.
The potential side effects that could result from the abuse of study drugs range from increased heart rate and body temperature, to cardiac arrest and death. It is just not possible to accurately predict how any one person is going to react to the use of any drug. Everyone’s body chemistry is different; therefore reactions to drugs are going to be different. This is an important fact to keep in mind if you are considering using someone else’s medication for any purpose.
It has been estimated that one in ten teenagers in the United States has taken study drugs without having a prescription for them. Approximately six percent of young adults aged 18-25 regularly use study drugs for purposes that are not related to a medical condition. In fact, the abuse of prescription drugs in general has become the second most abused group of drugs in the United States. The most widely abused drug in this country is cannabis.
The most important question to ask yourself before illegally taking a study drug is simply this: is the risk worth it?