Table of Contents
Study drugs, also known as cognitive enhancers or “smart drugs,” have become increasingly popular among young people in recent years. Students use the drugs to enhance their focus and concentration, allowing them to study longer and perform better on exams. Young people in work environments use them to process large amounts of information, easily reach their goals, and stay focused during presentations, examinations, or negotiations.
What Type of Drugs Are Study Drugs?
Study drugs are prescription amphetamines typically prescribed to treat symptoms of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) or ADD (attention-deficit disorder). They are classified as Schedule II drugs by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). These drugs can work well for people with ADD or ADHD and are safe to use when prescribed by a medical professional and used as intended.
The two most commonly misused prescription amphetamines are Ritalin and Adderall. Other medications frequently used as study drugs include Concerta, Dexedrine, Focalin, Modafinil, Provigil, and Vyvanse. The drugs stimulate the brain’s neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine. As the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine rise, the effects include an increased sense of focus and concentration, calmness, more energy, and a feeling of euphoria.
What are the Dangers of Using Study Drugs?
One of the most significant dangers of study drug misuse is addiction. The stimulant properties of these drugs can lead to dependence, where users become reliant on the medication to function or perform academically. Over time as tolerance to the drug develops, individuals find themselves needing higher doses to achieve the same effects, further fueling the cycle of dependence. When the drug is stopped or significantly reduced, withdrawal symptoms occur.
Additional dangers of using study drugs include:
- The use of study drugs can lead to serious physical health issues like high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures, stroke, and heart failure.
- These drugs can cause mood swings, paranoia, insomnia, and anxiety. Prolonged use can potentially lead to mental disorders like depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Drug addiction can isolate an individual from their family and friends, cause relationship problems, and problems at work or school.
- Many study drugs are classified as controlled substances, and possession without a prescription can lead to severe legal penalties including fines and imprisonment. Convictions for drug offenses can limit future job prospects, as many employers perform background checks and may not hire someone with a criminal record.
- Most academic institutions have policies against the misuse of prescription drugs. If a student is caught, it could lead to disciplinary actions, including expulsion.
- An accidental overdose can result from taking counterfeit pills containing unknown substances. Overdose can also lead to potentially fatal health complications.
The Side Effects of Study Drugs
Taking study drugs without a prescription or taking them differently than prescribed often has dangerous mental and physical side effects. The drug causes the individual’s blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature to increase. The person may experience tremors, muscle spasms, digestive problems, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. Their sex drive is reduced or gone, and they feel fatigued. They experience increased nervousness, depression, agitation, irritation, and anxiety. Loss of appetite and insomnia are common. Headaches, dizziness, psychosis, paranoia, and hallucinations can occur.
Common Street Names for Study Drugs
There are many street names for study drugs, such as Kiddie Cocaine, Kiddy Coke, Cramming Drugs, Kibbles and Bits, Pep Pills, Dexies, Smart Pills, Beans, Skittles, and Pineapple. On the street, Adderall is called Addys, Bennies, Study Buddies, Black Beauties, Truck Drivers, Uppers, Speed, Copilots, and Zing. Ritalin is called Poor Man’s Cocaine, Smart Drug, Diet Coke, Vitamin R, Smarties, R Ball, West Coast, and Skippy.
Do Study Drugs Decrease Productivity?
New research findings explained in articles in NeuroScience News and Science Daily show that people using study drugs who do not have ADD or ADHD may have diminished and impaired productivity and performance. The results showed study participants using the drugs had decreases in efficiency and accuracy. To complete the required tasks they needed more time and effort than the participants on placebo. The tasks were similar to those of real-life decision-making. Researchers also found that in some instances the additional effort led to erratic thinking.
You Can Regain Control of Your Life
If you or a loved one struggles with an alcohol or drug addiction, we can help. Located in Mesa, Arizona, the skilled professionals at Canyon Vista Recovery Center will guide you along the road to recovery. They will help you regain control of your life using a combination of evidence-based addiction treatments, psychiatric and medical care, and holistic therapies. Take the first step on the path to recovery. Contact us today.