Study Drugs

What are study drugs?

Prescription stimulants that are abused in order increase energy and concentration are known as study drugs. These psychostimulants are legally prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder, but a rising portion of the student population has abused these drugs recreationally or as a study aid. Adderall, an amphetamine, and Ritalin, a methylphenidate, are the most commonly abused. They are typically ingested in their original pill form, but have also been injected, snorted or inhaled.

What are the effects of study drugs?

Study drugs are used in this way because of their effects on concentration. They give users a sense of energy and mental alertness that allows them to stay up later to study. Along with increased concentration, users may experience a loss in appetite. Users show signs of sympathetic nervous system stimulation including increased heart rate and blood pressure and dilation of the bronchioles in the lungs. Because these drugs are typically taken in pill form, they are degraded more slowly, so the effects last two to four hours as compared to the rush and crash patterns seen with the use of other stimulants.

What are the risks of study drugs?

Stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are safe when prescribed by a physician, but risks arise when these drugs are being used without a prescription and oversight from a trained doctor. When prescribed by a physician, patients are given a specific schedule of doses. However, since those abusing these drugs aren’t taking it based on a specific schedule, they can develop patterns of self-medication that can become compulsive. These compulsive patterns can lead to withdrawal and addiction. Study drugs are most dangerous when taken with other stimulants such as cocaine as well as other medications even as simple as cold medicine.