The hefty price of 'study drug' misuse on college campuses

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-23-2016


ADHD, study drugs, college students


Nonmedical use of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drugs on college campuses, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and Vyvanse, has exploded in the past decade, with a parallel rise in depression disorders and binge drinking among young adults.

These ADHD drugs act as a brain stimulant that are normally prescribed to individuals who display symptoms of ADHD. These stimulants boost the availability of dopamine, a chemical responsible for transmitting signals between the nerve cells (neurons) of the brain.

But now a growing student population has been using them as “study” drugs – that help them stay up all night and concentrate. According to a 2007 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, abuse of nonmedical prescription drugs among college students, such as ADHD meds, increased from 8.3 percent in 1996 to 14.6 percent in 2006.

Publisher Attribution

Begdache, L.The hefty price of 'study drug' misuse on college campuses. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/the-hefty-price-of-study-drug-misuse-on-college-campuses-59340