Ringsmuth, Day & O’Halloran, PLLC - Fort Myers Criminal Defense
Former Prosecutors

Use of study drugs affects the body, the degree path and freedom

You are optimistic for your college-bound child's educational opportunities, but you also understand there is more to college life than classes and studying. In addition to talking to your child about choosing a degree and career path, you probably talked about the dangers of binge drinking, partying too much and other matters. What you may have neglected to discuss was the danger of study drugs.

The pressure to do well in college can become stressful and overwhelming. Balancing classes, studying and socializing takes its toll after a while, and some students turn to study drugs to get through it all. You may not want to think your child would take these drugs, but the culture on many college campuses these days makes it seem harmless, which is far from the truth.

Why are study drugs so prevalent on college campuses?

Because they are prescription drugs, they don't receive the same negative attention and stigma of illegal drugs and even alcohol. Doctors prescribe the drugs students take for those with conditions such as attention deficit disorder, narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They supposedly improve focus and maximize the time spent on schoolwork and studying. The most commonly used include the following:

  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
  • Provigil
  • Concerta
  • Vyvanse
  • Focalin or Attenade
  • Dexedrine

Each comes with its own side effects, but all are addictive and subject to abuse. Part of the danger also lies in the fact that doctors prescribe a certain medication based on a particular patient's health, age and overall condition. Taking someone else's prescription medication could easily lead to unintended health consequences.

The attitude appears to be that "everyone is doing it," even though only around 18.6 percent of college students actually take these drugs. There is also no research to back up the claims that taking them increases a student's GPA. Other reasons for taking them include the euphoric high they provide and the appetite suppressing qualities. Even so, the majority take them thinking the drugs improve their grades.

Other consequences

In addition to the health consequences and addiction, your child could suffer other consequences as well. Police could arrest your child for driving while drugged, possessing prescription drugs without a prescription and more. Not only would an arrest and possible conviction affect your child's future career options, but it could also lead to suspension or expulsion from school.

For instance, if your college student attends Florida Gulf Coast University, legal issues surrounding prescription drugs could lead to administrative hearings, which could interfere with the criminal proceedings and cost your student scholarships.

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