Trends and Statistics

What Are Study Drugs?

A Look At The Disturbing Trend of Study Drugs

Chronic study drug use can lead to addiction, which can lead to serious consequences. You don't have to struggle any longer. Click to contact us today

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Trends and Statistics

August 18, 2021

The research is staggering:

1 in 5 Ivy League students acknowledged using prescription stimulants while studying. Regardless of the short and long-term health and behavioral risks, many people rely on substances like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta to focus and concentrate - and most of them don’t perceive this habit as a problem.

What Are Study Drugs?

Study drugs refer to prescription amphetamines associated with heightened attention, focus, and concentration. In their prescribed forms, these substances treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, when abused, crushed, or snorted, they provide a stimulant-like effect, as the brain releases excessive amounts of dopamine, which disturbs brain cell communication. Most people have good intentions when using these substances. They want to cram for a test or focus on finishing an essay. Others will use them to simply stay awake longer or party harder. In competitive environments, like elite college campuses or corporate settings, people may feel like they need stimulants to succeed. However, the high followed by the crash often results in serious issues related to disconnection, depression, and fatigue. In fact, research shows that chronic use tends to lead to lower grade point averages – which often contradicts the initial reason people start to use. Chronic use can lead to dependence (stimulant addiction) and exacerbated mental health problems.  Furthermore, mixing stimulants with other substances like alcohol can result in cardiac issues and overdose.

Why Else Are They Problematic?

First, there is growing research that shows that students taking study drugs are also more likely to take and abuse other substances. Up to 90% of students misusing Adderall also report binge drinking alcohol in the past month; students are also 8x more likely to use cocaine and 5x more likely to use prescription opioids. Moreover, stimulants can cause severe complications like:

  • Severe sleep deprivation

  • Seizures

  • Narrowed blood vessels

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

  • Psychosis

Furthermore, individuals using stimulants may start developing tolerance before they even realize what’s happening. This means that they need to take more of the substance – in higher amounts – to achieve the desired effect. This tolerance can create a vicious cycle of obsession, secretive behavior, and illicit activity. Stopping chronic stimulant use can result in withdrawal effects that may include:

  • Intense fatigue

  • Irritability and anger

  • Heightened cravings

  • Restlessness

  • Hunger

Unfortunately, the presence of these distressing symptoms often creates a disturbing pattern – thus, many people relapse on stimulants to alleviate the discomfort.

Getting Help For Stimulant Abuse

Chronic study drug use can lead to addiction, which can lead to serious physical and psychological consequences for the struggling individual. That said, professional treatment provides an invaluable opportunity for individuals to recover from their addiction – and learn a new path towards healing. You don’t have to struggle any longer. Help and support are available. Contact us today to speak to one of our representatives.

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