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A is for awesome grades, not Adderall

by Hazen Prevention and Outreach Services
Tue, Oct 10th 2017 11:00 am
Photo taken from Wikipedia Commons
The pressure to succeed in college is enough to make some students turn to Adderall to help them concentrate. While Adderall is a prescription drug, it still has some very dangerous side effects and a high potential for abuse.
Photo taken from Wikipedia Commons The pressure to succeed in college is enough to make some students turn to Adderall to help them concentrate. While Adderall is a prescription drug, it still has some very dangerous side effects and a high potential for abuse.

Having trouble getting school work done? Can’t concentrate late into the night while trying to cram for an exam that’s in the morning? You may hear your peers on campus suggest Adderall as a quick fix; “the study drug”, a pill to solve all your problems. Students on college campuses started to use Adderall to help them study, but that is not why the drug was developed or why it is prescribed. The truth is, Adderall is not some miracle drug that you can take and magically become a master genius in the blink of an eye. Adderall does not make you smarter. 

What exactly is Adderall? Adderall is a drug that is prescribed to help treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. Adderall is a DEA Schedule II substance. This means it has a high potential for abuse, can lead to severe mental or physical dependence and is considered dangerous if used when not prescribed. 

Adderall is not harmless. Think twice about taking Adderall if you are not prescribed it. It has many harmful side effects if taken when you don’t actually need it for a medical reason. If you take Adderall without it being prescribed to you, you can become addicted and dependent on the drug. 

Harmful side effects include: low blood pressure, headaches, loss of appetite, irritability, depression, mood swings, insomnia and even death for people with a heart condition. The likelihood of these risks occurring increases if Adderall is used without a prescription and at higher than recommended dosages, as is often the case among abusers. 

For those of you looking to improve your attention span and study habits without using Adderall, you’re in luck. There are safe alternatives to help you get the results you are looking for. 

There are safe alternatives to Adderall that can improve your concentration and studying ability. 

Caffeine can be your best friend; it helps wake you up for those dreadful 8 a.m. classes and keeps you up and energized during the days you need to camp out in the library to get your work done. Not only is caffeine safer (when consumed in reasonable amounts) than Adderall, it’s also cheaper. 

Take advantage of the counseling center. Address your stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life and your academics, don’t hesitate to utilize the counseling center located in Hazen Hall. Talk to a professional, this is why they’re here. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Walk in Hours Monday through Friday, 8 to 11 a.m. 

It’s also helpful not to do assignments at the last minute. A little thing known as time management can be a lifesaver. We all know life can get hectic. Trying to balance an academic, work and social life can be overwhelming so it’s important to get your work started early and in a timely manner based off of your other everyday activities. If you plan to do your work in advance, you won’t even need to consider Adderall as an option because you won’t set yourself up to be in those situations where you feel pressed for time to finish school work. 

Take mental breaks if you decide to do endless amounts of work in one sitting or end up camping out in the library. It’s crucial to take a break. Working for hours at a time in one place can be ineffective. Take an hour or so out of your time doing work to simply just get up and do something else. Go get food or a coffee, take a power nap, or head over to the SERC and work out for a bit. 

Sleeping habits can also affect how you focus. If you’re having a hard time concentrating and focusing on your school work consider your sleeping habits. Do you stay up until 2 a.m. binge watching Netflix or scrolling through your social media? Try going to bed at a decent hour so you’re getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night. You’ll wake up more refreshed and less exhausted which will help you focus better throughout the day. 

Adderall is not the end all be all solution if you’re having trouble focusing and getting your work done. Some may perceive the drug to have mild benefits for helping you cram, but the perceived benefits are not worth the risk of the harmful side effects that come along with taking Adderall if you are not prescribed it. Challenge yourself to try some of the Adderall alternatives listed above. 

If you have any further questions about Adderall feel free to contact Prevention & Outreach Services or even stop by one of our two offices. We are located in Hazen and B124 in the Seymour College Union. 

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