What Are Study Drugs and How Are They Abused?

Use of “Study Drugs” is on the Rise

Study drugs are medications illicitly used to increase focus and stamina. However, these medications are typically prescribed to treat patients with attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and help minimize impulsive, uncontrollable actions and sharpen focus. When these medications are obtained illegally or used in a manner that’s outside the scope of their prescriptions, these actions can be classified as drug abuse.

During stressful periods that may cause a person to have increased anxiety, study drugs are often misused to reduce the tension and fatigue. They’re also commonly known as pep pills or uppers. The abuse and misuse of these medications are on the rise, especially among teens and college students.

The pressure to succeed in school and pass examinations often lead young adults to abuse stimulants. Rather than taking the medications as indicated by a prescription or within the guidelines of proper use, groups of individuals in high schools, colleges and grad schools misuse stimulants regularly. It has become a normal, ordinary way of living on college campuses across the country. Statistics show that 15 to 40 percent of students in elite colleges abuse stimulant drugs to maintain focus.

Various kinds of stimulant drugs can lead to a tolerant build-up, thereby causing an abuser to increase intake of the drugs to obtain the desired effects. Additionally, some abusers of stimulant drugs resort to taking more potent medications to reach the same feelings. Such substances provide temporary feelings of increased energy that wear off quickly.

In some cases, stimulant drug abusers convince themselves and others that they’re experiencing certain symptoms that require them to continue taking the medications. Many groups of students on college campuses underplay the notion of addiction by saying that everyone is taking pep drugs and it’s normal to do so. Some of the side effects of using pep drugs include:

• Irregular heartbeat
• Nervousness
• Dizziness
• High blood pressure
• Restlessness
• Anxiety
• Insomnia
• Loss of appetite
• Increased body temperature
• Disturbed sleep patterns
• Disorientation
• Tremors
• Headaches
• Stomach problems

The long-term use of these drugs can prove fatal over time, causing deadly heart attacks or strokes in addition to other terminal conditions. The drugs can also slow a person’s mental functions as a result of continual abuse. Other long-term effects of abusing stimulant drugs include:

• Convulsions and seizures
• Respiratory problems
• Epilepsy
• Liver damage
• Kidney damage
• Psychological dependence
• Damage to blood vessels
• Lung damage
• Psychosis

Substances Commonly Considered to be Study Drugs

shutterstock_58807285_pill bottlesThere are several types of medications that are referred to as study drugs, uppers or pep drugs. Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine and Concerta as well as their generic forms are prescribed stimulant medications that are being abused in society not just for the purpose of performing better in school, but also to increase performance with sports and other physical activities. Similar to coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks that contain large amounts of caffeine, stimulant drugs temporarily improve concentration and endurance, which makes them highly addictive. It has become the norm among abusers to actually take the drugs to boost energy levels as though taking daily vitamins.

Stimulant drugs produce strong effects on the nervous system. These medications contain amphetamines and methylphenidates that increase dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain, which enhance mental speed and focus as well as suppress appetite. They can also improve a person’s mood and self-confidence during short time periods. These drugs are addictive because they provide temporary relief for anxiety, stress, insomnia, lethargy and even depression. People who abuse them are often attempting to escape disconcerting emotions and mental distress given that the drugs provide a euphoric feeling. Over time, they require higher doses to maintain this certain level of high.

In schools, students who abuse study drugs often take the medications during exam timeframes, before game performances and to stay awake while studying. Many abusers state that the drugs help them do better in school and perform better with sports activities. Although drugs like Ritalin and Adderall require doctors’ prescriptions, it’s not very difficult to illegally obtain these medications on campuses. Across numerous high school and college campuses, stimulant drugs are abused more so than certain types of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, heroin or cocaine.

Seek Help for Study Drug Abuse Today

The pressure to achieve short-term goals in school and even long-term goals beyond graduation from college is often a difficult factor with which to cope. These experiences are common when an individual is working towards achieving her dreams. If you’re experiencing unescapable stress and have resorted to misusing stimulant drugs, we can help you better manage these feelings and permanently walk away from drug abuse. Staff members are on hand to discuss your issues and provide you with the information you need to move forward in a positive direction.

Call our helpline today at 800-447-9081 FREE.

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