There exists a persistent belief on college campuses that non-medical use of prescription amphetamines for ADHD (such as Adderall, Vynvanse, Ritalin, and others) as “study aids” increases grades.
One study even found that up to 35% of college-age individuals had used a prescription amphetamine for non-medical purposes, such as to improve grades. But does Adderall really increase grades?
Despite prescription amphetamines overwhelming reputation for boosting grades, the science of whether this is true paints an entirely different picture.
What are prescription amphetamines?
Prescription amphetamines are medicines used for the treatment of attention-deficit disorders such as ADHD. These medications help concentration and hyperactivity in those who need them.
These medications, however, have an extremely high abuse potential and thus are a member of the strictest regulated drug class (Class II).
When prescription amphetamines are taken by those who do not need them or in high doses, they can cause a burst of energy, hyperfocus, and euphoria to occur in the user. These effects account for why they have become popular amongst college students looking for an edge in school.
The medication will cause them to have intense concentration, plus the side-effect of insomnia which allows them to stay awake for days on end studying.
Studies on prescription amphetamine abuse
Research has been done into whether students who take prescription amphetamines illicitly actually achieve academic improvement. A 2010 comprehensive study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases concluded that in most cases no academic benefit could be established from illicit use of prescription amphetamine.
Furthermore, the study found that students using the medication as a “crutch” was far more likely to cut class and procrastinate their work under the false belief the medication would save them.
So what does this mean?
It is crucial for the parents of children prescribed to amphetamine to explain the legal and moral danger of sharing their medications. It is also crucial to dispel the persistent myth that prescription amphetamines can act as academic enhancers.
Finally, amphetamine has an extremely high potential for abuse and its illicit use for any reason is dangerous.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.