Commonly Abused Study Drugs. Effects of Study Drugs. Study Drugs Overdose, Addiction, and Treatment

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What are Study Drugs?

Study drugs are a prescription stimulant that is used without a prescription to increase energy and concentration. Adderall and Ritalin are the most commonly misused drugs. Basically, they work by increasing focus. Students and young professionals under pressure use them to improve concentration and increase stamina, for instance. In addition, individuals usually obtain study drugs by purchasing them from people with a prescription or ordering them online.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) [1], one in four students believes that prescription drugs can be used as a study aid, and nearly one-third of parents say that they believe that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication can improve a student’s academic performance, even if that child does not have ADHD. Therefore, parents, students, and prescribers must be educated on the impact of these drugs on the brain. Because this misconception can be dangerous, the users and their guardians must consult a medical professional to educate them on study drugs.

Study Drugs
Once a person begins relying on study drugs to focus and prepare for exams or work, he may convince himself that he can no longer perform without the drug. It’s a big mistake.

Prescription medications, including study drugs, can have significant impacts on people because study drugs are undoubtedly addictive. It is also possible to overdose on stimulants, especially when mixing them with alcohol and party drugs. In addition, the interaction between study drugs and other intoxicants can cause heart issues, paranoia, vomiting, and other symptoms.

Commonly Abused Study Drugs


Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is the most commonly abused study drug among college students. It is a Schedule ll amphetamine medication for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. Adderall addiction can harm a person’s body, imbalance their mind, and destroy important relationships.


Ritalin (methylphenidate) is very similar to Adderall. It is a prescription drug for the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Stimulants can cause stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect.


Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. It is a prescription medication for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. This drug may be habit-forming, and this medicine is a drug of abuse.


Concerta can go by the name of methylphenidate hydrochloride. It’s a medication for treating ADHD. A stimulant by nature, the prolonged use can cause addiction, and the typical withdrawal symptoms will ensue; abnormal sleep patterns, depression, anxiety, cold and hot sweats, etc.


Modafinil is the generic name of Provigil. It promotes and enhances wakefulness and medication for the treatment of narcolepsy ( sleep disorder). This drug makes the user stay awake and alert for up to twelve hours. It is only available by prescription. Modafinil can cause skin reactions that may be severe enough to need treatment in a hospital. Unfortunately, it can make certain birth control less effective and this drug is highly addictive.


Adrafinil is the generic name of Olmifon. Like Modafinil, it is a Nootropic drug. These drugs increase blood flow to the brain, increasing neurotransmitter activity. Adrafinil is a mild central nervous system stimulating drug typically employed to relieve excessive sleepiness. However, it is banned in France yet remains unregulated in the U.S.


Aniracetam is the genetic name of Draganon, Sarpul, Ampame, It is a type of nootropic. This is a group of substances that enhance brain function. Some forms, such as caffeine, are naturally derived. Others are synthetically made into drugs. The stimulating effects of this substance can potentially cause nausea, irritability, insomnia, vertigo.

Study Drugs
Study drugs like Adderall are addictive and using them may increase the chances of developing a psychological and physical dependency


Creatine is the generic name of amidinosarcosine. Doctors warn against using this drug for people with kidney or liver disease or diabetes. Just because creatine is natural doesn’t necessarily mean that it is safe. Additionally, Creatine might be unsafe for people with preexisting kidney problems.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri, also called Brahmi, water hyssop,  and herb of grace is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Common side effects include increased bowel movements, stomach cramps, nausea, dry mouth, and fatigue.

Common Effects of Study Drugs

The Crash

  • Study drugs increase people’s dopamine levels when in use. As a result, they can experience huge crashes as soon as they stop taking the drug. Feeling hopeless, depressed, anxious, paranoid, and exhausted are very common. Consequently, the crash requires students to continue using the drug until they’ve met all their goals and deadlines, which can increase the risk of dependency.

Study Drugs Dependency

  • Study drugs like Adderall are addictive and using them may increase the chances of developing a psychological and physical dependency. Coming down from study drugs can be extremely difficult, and it’s easy to continue using the drugs to cope with or avoid crashing. Given that, it doesn’t take long for students to rely on study drugs to get through each day.

Mood Swings

  • Study drugs can cause extreme mood swings because of sudden changes in brain chemistry and hormone release. Sometimes people can have the opposite experience and, instead of fluxing moods, have muted, robotic emotions.


  • Study drugs can drastically alter students’ sleep schedules and ability to get good rest. Long-term use can impair the brain’s functionality, reduce memory performance, induce abnormal sleep patterns, alter moods, and deplete energy.


  • Prescriptions often warn that common ADHD medications can worsen these symptoms of anxiety, paranoia, and panic attacks in people who already experience them. These medications are also generally not to be used in conjunction with anxiety and depression medications. For instance, students who use medications like Xanax put themselves at high health risk when using study drugs the same time.

Heart Attack

  • People may experience heart palpitations the first time they use study drugs. Also, regular use can lead to more severe issues. The risk of heart attack increases as well when alcohol and other drugs are added to the mix. Serious side effects of Adderall include heart attack and stroke.


  • Stimulants like Adderall, one of the most popular study drugs may cause seizures, especially those who have a history of seizures.

Stomach Issues

  • Study drugs can have a huge impact on a student’s digestive system. Various study drugs cite vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and digestive issues.

Study Drugs Overdose

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [2], Ritalin (Methylphenidate) can be transformed from a therapeutic agent to an abused and addictive substance when this drug is taken in excessive amounts. Moreover, the psychiatric side effects of methylphenidate are quite similar to those of cocaine and amphetamines, such as Adderall.  

Study Drugs Overdose Symptoms

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • A loose association of ideas
  • Rapid breathing
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain
  • Death

Study Drugs Addiction Treatment

A qualified treatment center can monitor a person addicted to study drugs through detox, ensuring withdrawal symptoms are safely managed. Study drugs detox often includes a taper-down strategy. This helps gradually expel the drug from the body to reduce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as depression and fatigue.

Generally, uncomfortable side effects can take hold if a person quits the drug too fast. A doctor can set up a tapering schedule, typically lasting a few weeks or a few months, so a person can get sober safely.

Study Drugs Detox Steps

  • With the help of a medical professional, set up a slow weaning schedule.
  • Seek emotional support and guidance from a mental health professional during detox.
  • Keep busy to distract from drug cravings because a relapse during detox is more dangerous at times.
  • Maintain a healthy eating and sleeping schedule, and take all prescribed medications or supplements.
  • Attend support groups, meetings, counseling sessions, family therapy, and aftercare programs.

Study Drugs Treatment Plans

The inpatient treatment approach works best as it aims to change the person’s behaviors. Also, it helps them establish social support systems and better methods of coping with stress. A person will likely experience many different side effects of the misuse of study drugs. These side effects may be emotional, physical, or mental. For example, someone in withdrawal will likely experience many uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts about life during the process of detox. Unfortunately for those with dependency, detox is an unavoidable first step towards recovery.

Please do not try to detox on your own because the detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. That is why getting through a supervised detox process is crucial for continued treatment.

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up West Palm Beach Rehab. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox and or addiction rehab may be required first.  If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.


[1] SAMHSA –

[2] NCBI –

[3] Study Drugs Addiction » Drug Alcohol Addiction RehabWe Level Up