The popularity of study drugs

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Kirk Smith /THE
REVIEW

Many students are turning to study drugs like Adderall for extra focus, the ability to study longer, retain as much information as possible to get the necessary grades to successfully complete the semester.

It is officially the time of the semester where students are doing all they can to save their GPAs. Students are spending longer hours in the library, attending office hours for the first time all semester and pleading for extra credit. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We are one week away from finals, many students are turning to study drugs like Adderall for extra focus, the ability to study longer, retain as much information as possible to get the necessary grades to successfully complete the semester.

The average college student does not consider the use of Adderall illegal or dangerous. The use of study drugs has become so normalized that it is almost central to the college experience. Contrary to popular belief, Adderall is dangerous. Adderall is an amphetamine and is considered a class 2 controlled substance like cocaine. Some would say the use of prescriptions to enhance performance is almost as commonplace as the use of caffeinated energy drinks. Students that are under an immense amount of academic stress view the use of “study drugs” as the only way to succeed and suppress the academic rigor.

Although, the use of Adderall may be ideal for students during this time of the year, I don’t think students consider or are even aware of the long-term effects of Adderall use. Also, there is not as much research focused on the long-term effects. This continues to remain in spite of the overwhelming amounts of evidence that many people without a prescription to Adderall frequently use it. College is supposed to be a place where you prepare for the real world, it seems like the things that define the typical college experience are predisposing students to addiction, poor sleep habits, mental illness and possible neurological damage. What are the long-term effects of a short-term academic advantage? The long-term effects of Adderall affect one’s brain, body and personality. One of the long-term effects of Adderall is addiction. This type of addictions tends to plague people once they leave college, but they are still dependent on a little orange pill for focus, productivity and success.

College students need to be made aware of the harsh realities of “study drugs” and other practices that may affect us post-graduation. College is a time where students experience a lot of growth and you begin to develop habits for the future. The benign view of Adderall makes it ten-times harder for those struggling to get the help they need, and it helps to keep our students misinformed.

Miata Smith is a student at the university. Miata can be reached at mvsmith@udel.edu.

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