Tips for Parents
Stimulants as Study Aids
Up to 25 percent of college students have abused prescription stimulants, according to the Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention. And during this time of year when students are studying through the night and cramming for finals, there may be an up-tick in illegal use. However, there are some things you can watch for that could indicate stimulant abuse.
These may include:
- The unexplained disappearance of meds
- Declining grades
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Changes in friends and general behaviors
- Disrupted eating or sleeping patterns
- And more.
Why They Turn to Stimulants
Students often use stimulants to increase their energy, alertness, wakefulness and concentration. They may use them:
- To stay awake and alert beyond their natural ability
- As study aids
- To stay up all night
- To elicit feelings of euphoria
- To control their appetite
Although prescribed stimulants are used to create a calming, focusing effect among people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), they have a different effect on those taking them illegally. Students can become psychologically dependent on them. And once they start taking stimulants in higher doses, students may be at risk of everything from paranoia to high body temperatures to hostility to heart failure, seizures and death.
Access & Methods
Students can gain access to prescription drugs like stimulants by:
- Stealing them from someone they know
- Buying them from someone they know who has a valid prescription
- Faking a medical condition to get a doctor's prescription
- Buying them from online pharmacies not requiring prescriptions
Students take stimulants in a variety of ways, including:
- Swallowing them whole
- Chewing them
- Injecting crushed pills in powder form
- Snorting crushed pills in powder form
- Taking them in combination with alcohol
So, keep an eye out for stimulant abuse, particularly at this volatile time of year.
Commonly Abused Stimulants
- • Ritalin
These prescription drugs are primarily used to treat ADHD.
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