One in five college students abuse prescription stimulants, meaning they are taking drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Vyvanse, without a prescription or at a higher dose than prescribed. These drugs, known as “study drugs”, are often prescribed to individuals who have difficulty focusing, paying attention, or who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
One of the most common myths about “study drugs” is that they will help otherwise healthy individuals hyper-focus on a task or project.
This is not true. While individuals who are prescribed these drugs are boosting their body’s naturally occurring chemicals (neurotransmitters) to a normal level – individuals who take “study drugs” without a prescription are at risk of developing anxiety, decreased sleep, increased blood pressure, disorganized thinking, and the jitters. Instead of hyper-focusing, you end up overwhelming your body’s naturally occurring chemicals. In fact, students who take prescription stimulants, actually have lower GPA’s than students who do not take them!
With the stress of classes and deadlines, it can be tempting to take a “study drug”. However, there is not a magic drug that can make you perform well in class or help you cram the night before an exam. In fact, it may even end up being more damaging to your performance. Time management and meeting goals are two of the most common reasons students use “study drugs”. Fortunately, there are ways you can manage your time and set goals on your own.