A recent study conducted at Ohio State University revealed alarming information regarding college students who use stimulants to help them study or sleep.
Namely, more than 70% of students said that it was pretty easy to obtain prescription drugs without a prescription.
The research was conducted at six public and two private universities across 5 states and it showed that 71% of students thought it was easy to obtain stimulants such as Adderall and Dexedrine, 42% said it was easy to buy sedatives, while a 33% of them stated it was easy to get painkillers. The most common way of obtaining these meds is through friends, which is what 80% of students admitted.
This is showing a striking fact that students on campuses abuse medication in order to study better – unaware they are just as dangerous and addictive as street drugs.
It happens only too often that students start preparing for an exam only a night before and they have to pull an all-nighter. This is where these drugs come into play. Most students said they help them stay focused. Unlike coffee that helps them stay awake, medications such as Adderall and Ritalin keep them focused on the task and make them want to work. It’s easy to see why so many students would resort to such dramatic measures.
While nearly 85% of students use these drugs for the purpose of improving their grades, other purposes include anxiety and stress relief and sleep aid. And painkillers are abused for getting high instead of relieving pain.
However, the use of “study drugs” does more harm than good.
They don’t only create physical addiction, but a mental addiction as well. Students start using them to study all night and get more focused – they see good results and continue using them. Soon, it becomes an inseparable part of their studying routine and they feel like they can’t manage college without the drugs.
But there are medical dangers as well. After the drug has worn off, students run a risk of crashing, i.e. since all the dopamine in their body has been used up, they become depressed and exhausted. Along with elevated level of concentration, these drugs also increase heart rate and blood pressure and can cause insomnia and nervousness. Some of the worst side effects that can happen are hallucinations and paranoia, but if an addiction is developed, study drugs can even lead to death.
It is hardly surprising that so many students are using these drugs when they are so easily attainable.
It is fairly easy to get a prescription, and even without it, numerous students on campuses who do have a prescription sell them to their peers. One student said: “On my campus, and I imagine at most other campuses as well, Adderall is extremely easy to find. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask for it if your friends take it regularly and study with you often.”