Good Students Flirting with Addiction

Good Students Flirting with Addiction

It’s time for college finals, meaning frequent trips to the library or local coffee shops, review sessions and study groups. With the pressure building to complete projects and papers and study for exams, many students are feeling the need to stay awake longer than usual. While some students will rely on coffee, Red Bull, and other caffeine-loaded drinks to stay awake, some students will reach for “the study drug”—Adderall.

Prescription drugs, substance abuse treatmentWhile Adderall, an amphetamine-based psychostimulant, is legally prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (along with Ritalin and Concerta), it is now becoming increasingly popular across college campuses.

I’m taking five classes this semester and all of my finals are within three days of each other. I don’t know any other way to stay awake and alert enough to cram for all five of them in such a short amount of time…besides Adderall.”


A staggering number of students are instead using Adderall as a study aide as it allows students to enhance their study stamina so they are able to hit the books more intensely and for longer periods of time. Yet with such prevalence around college campuses, it has led to many students becoming nonchalant about the drug, it’s so common, they say, that they don’t have any reservations about taking it. However, just like alcohol and other illicit drugs, Adderall and other prescription stimulants can have some extremely dangerous side effects such as:

  • If misused, prescription stimulants can cause a variety of health problems such as an irregular heartbeat and panic attacks.
  • Some of the short-term effects of Adderall are addiction, anxiety, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, visual hallucinations, elevated pulse, elevated enzymes in blood signaling liver failure, and loss of appetite.
  • Contrary to college students misconception of the benefits in using Adderall to study, students who use the drug for non-medical purposes generally have lower grade point averages, are more likely to be heavy drinkers and use other illicit drugs, and are more likely to be dependent on alcohol and marijuana, miss class more frequently, and study less.

I started to notice my own addictive behaviors. It seemed to work and the more I used it, the more I wanted to use more of it, even when I wasn’t studying”


This finals week, take the time to formulate some safe study habits instead of resulting to prescription drug abuse, such as:

  • Start studying and writing your papers a head of time instead of waiting till the night before and set time goals for yourself to help you stay on track.
  • Find a study buddy that can keep you motivated.
  • Remember to take short breaks while studying in order to allow your brain to process and retain the information.

Like many drugs, abusing Adderall can come back to bite you years down the line. Whether it is problems with blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, or a gateway to more powerful drugs such as speed or cocaine, Adderall and prescription stimulants can be tremendously hazardous and have the ability to affect you for the rest of your life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction to prescription stimulants such as Adderall, don’t hesitate to get them help they need before they fall down that slippery slope.

Call us toll free at 855-678-8337, we’re here to help!


Contact Elements Behavioral Health

Call 855-678-8337 for a confidential assessment or fill out the form below and we will call you.