studyingStudy drugs use higher during finals week

Many students are rounding that final corner of the school year and heading into final exams within the next few weeks.  Interestingly, the stress and pressure of cramming for finals can drive some students to abuse study drugs.  Research shows that the use of study drugs spikes during finals week.  Further, the pressure of cramming for exams and writing term papers has been shown to drive young adults to turn to prescription drugs such as those used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

However, the use of non-prescribed study drugs medications like Adderall and Ritalin can be dangerous. Many students believe that the medications will help them stay focused and give them energy to study for longer periods of time, but eventually, students become dependent upon study drugs.

Recently, a study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where 6.4 percent of college students said that they had used study drugs for non-medical purposes. Further, other research has shown that abuse levels are closer to 30 percent. Although not a direct indicator of illegal activity, a study performed at Brigham Young University found that mentions of study drugs spike during “crunch periods” like finals week. (interventionservices.org)

CNN reports that the study drug phenomenon is a scene that is playing out at college campuses across the United States.  They indicate that, “Dr. Raymond Kotwicki, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University’s school of medicine in Atlanta, says he worries about students who might take these drugs. ‘They might produce euphoria, they might temporarily make it easier… but in the long run there are significant problems both in terms of thinking, mood problems, maybe even functionality.’”  CNN also cites Kotwicki describing the effects of study drugs and indicates that he says, “(These study) drugs like Adderall can produce jitters, headaches, stomach problems or even eventually lead to psychosis, a mental disorder that includes the loss of contact with reality.”

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