Now more than ever, people are checking into inpatient drug treatment for addiction to legal medications. While most of these addicts are hooked on opiates and sleeping pills, an alarming number are also abusing stimulant study aids. These drugs were originally designed to help people with concentration problems, but college students now commonly use them to focus on homework and tests. Most study aids are also powerfully addictive amphetamines, and it’s crucial that more people understand the dangers of using them for self-medication.
Why People Use Study Aids
Most of the drugs thought of “study aids” were actually designed for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – a condition which makes it extremely difficult to concentrate and stay on task. However, ADHD patients are almost never the ones who abuse them. It’s typically college students who self-medicate with illicitly-obtained Ritalin, Adderall, or Concerta.
These drugs are all powerful stimulants which can improve focus and productivity. Many students who use them are highly successful in their schoolwork, and they want an extra “edge” to help them get through massive workloads and difficult courses. People with procrastination habits and poor time-management skills have also been known to use these drugs to pull feverish last-minute study sessions.
The Negative Effects
Like meth, most ADHD medications are amphetamines. Though they can certainly give people large and sustained bursts of energy, they carry a slew of long-term negative health effects. These include:
- Loss of appetite
- Unhealthy weight loss
- Decay of the skin, teeth, and hair
- Stomach pains and digestive problems
- Acute paranoia
- Depression during withdrawal
For people with pre-existing heart conditions, they can also lead to seizures and cardiac arrest. There have been several tragic cases where stressed, hardworking students died from the heart-attack inducing effects of Adderall.
Despite the dangers of self-medicating with ADHD drugs, many people believe that they’re legitimate study aids. These proponents typically espouse their controlled use for studying, athletics, and other activities which require large amounts of energy and concentration. However, the negatives still outweigh the positives. They carry immense health risks, and studies have shown that they may not even provide helpful effects for most users. Like other stimulants, they can give people extremely unfocused bursts of energy. Users who are prone to procrastination are just as likely to clean their dorms as they are to focus on their priorities.
How Inpatient Treatment Helps
Study aids can cause people to develop chemical dependencies, and inpatient drug treatment is the most effective way for them to fight their cravings and permanently change their behaviors. Inpatients spend one to three months living at their clinics, undergoing fifty or more hours of intensive therapies per week. Amphetamine addicts may also need to begin this process with a one to two-week detox. Even if attending an inpatient program requires a student to take a semester off of school, the long-term benefits are well worth the temporary sacrifice.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders
Another advantage of attending an inpatient rehab program is that it gives addicts the opportunity to be diagnosed for co-occurring disorders. People addicted to study aids often suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and other chronic conditions associated with Type-A personalities. Treating these disorders along with addiction is often the only way for people to find lasting relief.
If you’re struggling with study aids, alcohol, or other drugs, you don’t have to suffer alone. Call the number above for a toll-free consultation with one of our dedicated addiction counselors, and learn how you can get help. We can set you up with a proven inpatient drug rehab program that will have you back on your feet in no time.