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We’re well into the college semester at this point, and students might start feeling overwhelmed by how much work studying in college actually is. And then midterms come, and people start turning to brain boosters like Adderall to help them keep up with all their work. But it’s surprising how little people actually know about this prescription drug before abusing it as a “study aid.” But that’s where we come in. Here’s a college student’s guide to the widely known medication!

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication designed to treat ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It has been shown to improve focus, energy, and concentration to a much higher level than normal. Because of this, Adderall is widely abused as a “study drug” at many college campuses across the nation. Students who use this drug can write endless pages for an assignment or cram all night without any loss of energy or concentration.

How Does It Work and Why Do Students Use It?

Once Adderall enters the bloodstream, the active ingredients (amphetamines) stimulate the brain’s production of norepinephrine and dopamine. Both of these hormones are associated with attention and behavior. Blood pressure may be increased and heart rate may be faster.

Adderall is a powerful drug, allowing you to be deeply focused on a topic. Most students take these pills to study and describe the feeling as being “zoned in”. Students can concentrate without being easily distracted as if they were sober. In many cases, people who take the drug are unable to sleep and stay up all night to do schoolwork. Along with the easy accessibility around most college campuses, Adderall is praised as a college student’s study drug.

Adderall Abuse on the Rise

Adderall use is on the rise, especially at more competitive universities. Students will do anything to gain an academic advantage among their peers. It has also been easier and easier to attain at college campuses. The pills are easily concealed, odorless, and look just like any other prescription drug. Because of this, Adderall sellers are very hard to catch by the police. You can buy Adderall on college campuses anywhere from $5 to $25 a pill depending on the dosage and time of the academic school year.

Risks and Side Effects

What many students don’t know about this “study aid” are the risks and side effects. Although they are rare, students should still be aware before they decide to use it. Firstly, Adderall is classified as a schedule II drug, meaning a high risk of abuse and dependence. Using Adderall regularly over prolonged periods of time puts a person at a greater risk of developing addiction. Additional risks include:

  • Sudden death (people with heart abnormalities have died suddenly after taking Adderall)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Others


Here is an excerpt from “Boosting Brain Power”, a 60 Minutes documentary.


Do you know anyone who’s abused Adderall in order to study?


Featured photo credit: via photo pin cc