Silvermist young adult drug and alcohol rehab

It’s no secret that educational coursework can place a heavy burden on students, leaving them with multiple assignments to accomplish and dozens of pages of information to read and digest. In an attempt to be more attentive to their work, young adults may look into getting a prescription for a certain medication with the intent to provide better brain function and focus.

While these “focus medications” are relatively harmless when taken as prescribed, there is a big problem when they are abused or taken by someone for whom they’ve not been medically prescribed. Known as study drugs, these medications often cause more harm than help when used without a doctor’s guidance.

What are study drugs?

Study drugs are stimulant drugs that students may use in an attempt to increase their focus and energy while studying for exams, working on assignments, etc. Hence the term “study drug” or “focus drug.”

Now, some of these drugs are prescribed by doctors to help treat attention disorders in order to make coursework and long periods of focus more manageable. Students with ADD and ADHD often benefit greatly when stimulant drugs like Adderall are used to help soothe their overactive minds.

However, it is when students who do not have a legitimate prescription begin using these drugs that a problem occurs.

What drugs are commonly abused?

Not all drugs are considered to study drugs, or focus drugs. Stimulant drugs prescribed to improve cognitive function include:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Concerta
  • Focalin
  • Modafinil

These are the substances that even healthy students may abuse in an attempt to improve their grades or give them energy when their sleep schedule is disorderly.

When individuals use these drugs without the written prescription of a doctor, however, they could be putting their health at risk by taking the drugs in higher doses or much more frequently than what is deemed safe — and without being evaluated by their doctor, there is no way to properly know what drugs and in what quantities are safe for them.

In other cases, those with a prescription may also take their medication more often or in higher doses than recommended, putting their health and safety at risk.

The side effects of study drugs

Most people taking these medications against medical advice believe the side effects include increased concentration and energy – but that’s not always the case. If not taken in proper dosage to address an attention-deficit disorder, study drugs can have a lot of serious mental and physical side effects.

These include:

  • Increased anxiety or paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Increased focus on the wrong thing (like doing your laundry instead of writing a paper)
  • Irregular heartbeat and increased risk of seizures
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Risk of addiction as the drugs are more frequently abused

In reality, while the thought of studying drugs may be appealing initially, they actually can have a lot of negative effects; plus, they aren’t guaranteed to help you study in the long run. Oftentimes, you’re left feeling too jittery and worked up to focus on the things you truly need to focus on.

What to do instead

Instead of turning to study drugs to help with last-minute cramming sessions, there are numerous other, more beneficial, methods to help increase your levels of focus and boost your productivity levels.

Instead of studying drugs, try:

  • Scheduling your study time – Based on when you focus best (AM or PM), plan chunks of time during those hours where you can put some dedicated studying into practice
  • Sleeping – It’s hard to get the right amount of sleep in college, but it’s possible. And, it will significantly impact your focus, energy and mentality overall, improving your grades more than substances ever could
  • Chunking your time – Expecting yourself to write a ten-page essay in one sitting is ambitious, to say the least; break your paper into chunks and work on it during set times during the day to reduce distraction and give yourself breaks
  • Eliminating distractions – Turn off your phone or leave it in another room; find a quiet location to study; bring only what you need for this assignment. Tricks like these will minimize distractions and improve your overall focus
  • Taking care of your body – Drinking water and eating healthy, brain-boosting snacks will improve your concentration and maintain your energy in the healthiest way
  • Taking breaks – No one said you need to get all your work done in one go. Take a break and walk around outside to clear your head. For many, studying for 50 minutes and taking a break for 10 actually helps to maintain focus so you can continue working productively for longer
  • Prioritizing – Maybe work on your hardest assignments first, when you have the greatest amount of energy and focus; then, as you begin to grow tired, switch to subjects that don’t require as much mental grit. Balancing your work in this way will help you accomplish more in the time you have

Additionally, many colleges and universities have tutoring centers and academic counselors who can help you hone good study skills and teach you how to balance an overwhelming workload so you don’t feel the need to turn to study drugs as a quick fix.

Help for stimulant drug abuse

Silvermist Recovery Center inpatient drug rehab takes a two-phase approach to help young adults stabilize any addictive behaviors, understand the issues at the core of the addiction and provide a clear path to lifelong recovery in adulthood.

If you or someone you know is battling addiction, contact Silvermist today to learn more about our treatment programs.