Got an algebra test next week? A midterm in two days? A FINAL in one day? TIME. TO. CRAM.

We’ve all been there, but we deal with stress and studying in different ways. For instance, I lock myself in my room, put on noise cancelling headphones, and turn off my internet to make myself focus. But then I lose focus. I can unlock my door, take off my headphones, and watch thirty-seven youtube videos. Oops. Suffice to say, it’s easy to get distracted. However, more and more students are relying on their good ol’ friend Addy to help them out in these time-crunched moments. SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that “full-time college students (aged 18-22) were twice as likely to use Adderall nonmedically in the past year as those who had not been in college at all or were only part-time students” (SAMHSA). Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, but has also made it onto college campuses to aid in studying.

Image Source: Student Advisor

“College students are one of the largest markets for Adderall, particularly when it is distributed illegally” (  

However, Adderall can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health. Teens assume that since Adderall is used to treat medical problems, it is safer than illegal substances. NOT TRUE. First off, Adderall is habit-forming. Has anyone else been keeping up with 90210? (Yeah, I know my taste in TV sucks).  One of the main characters (Dixon) is struggling with an Adderall addiction and he is finding out that it’s harder to stop his reliance on it than he thought. says, “After long-term abuse, your body depends on Adderall for normal function and trying to discontinue the drug can result in withdrawal symptoms including panic, suicidal thoughts and nightmares.”

Also,  “It can also be harmful for anyone who has an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure, glaucoma, hardened arteries, an overactive thyroid, an anxiety disorder or a heart disease” ( If students are buying them illegally, it means they have not met with a doctor to see if Adderall will adversely affect them. Some abusers might not know they have an overactive thyroid and might not find out until they have already used Adderall.


  • increases likelihood of other addictions
  • can affect your growth if you’re not done growing
  • difficulty sleeping
  • anxiety or paranoia
  • sudden death
  • seizures

There are alternatives to Adderall, and healthier ones at that. Create good study habits so you won’t have to cram, or try getting more sleep. Lack of sleep can decrease concentration and impair memory. Better yet, listen to this playlist. Good study music can make physics SO much better.

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