There are many misinterpretations about study drugs with students as well as parents. These misunderstandings can be risky because the use of study drugs has been associated with severe health problems; including heart complications and mental or behavioral health issues like paranoia and malice, in addition to the venture of addiction.
For parents, it’s crucial to understand the dangers of misusing study drugs and to be able to classify common side effects and signs of abuse.
These study drugs are sometimes used without a prescription by high school and college students to intensify wakefulness and focus when studying for tests; writing papers, or working on other academic projects. However, research has shown that students who use study drugs have lower overall GPAs than their peers.
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The Common Types of Study Drugs and Their Use
Those who have trouble focusing, oftentimes use ADHD drugs or other stimulants. Basically, there are various ADHD medications on the market, and methylphenidate (brand name: Ritalin) is the most widely abused.
Methylphenidate (Ritalin): It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant drug that has become the initial drug of choice in children’s attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  However, the prevention of methylphenidate abuse needs to be a shared responsibility between an addiction specialist or a therapist, the parents, and the user. And all must participate in a therapy treatment for education about the abuse potential of the drug.
Generally, the extreme results of abuse and addiction, resulting in legal consequences, psychiatric symptoms, disorders; death, and homicide, need to be discussed seriously.
In addition, amphetamine formulations such as D, L-amphetamine (brand name: Adderall), and dextroamphetamine (brand name: Dexedrine) are also common drugs of abuse.
Adderall is the brand name for a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant produced from amphetamine salts. The drug is used to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Unfortunately, many people also abuse Adderall recreationally to boost their productivity and memory, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration disapproves of this.
Furthermore, overdosing on Adderall or other amphetamines can cause mild to severe symptoms. And in some cases, death is possible.
Adderall Overdose Symptoms
In mild cases, you may experience:
- Rapid Breathing
- Stomach Pain
In severe cases, you may experience:
- Fever of 106.7°F (41.5°C) or higher
- Heart Attack
- Break Down of Muscles, or Rhabdomyolysis
Dextroamphetamine is used as a treatment program to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children. This drug is also used to treat narcolepsy – a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden sleep attacks. Unfortunately, this drug can be habit-forming and can cause a life-threatening overdose. 
Symptoms of Dexedrine Overdose may include the following:
- Uncontrollable Shaking
- Dark red or cola-colored urine
- Muscle Weakness or Aching
- Fast Breathing
- Aggressive Behavior
- Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Blurred Vision
- Stomach Cramps
- Coma (loss of consciousness for some time)
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Other Types of Study Drugs
- Aniracetam initially works as both a stimulant and a mental enhancer. It’s said to help make you more awake and alert. In fact, this is similar to caffeine. Basically, a significant reason why aniracetam isn’t approved in the United States is due to unknown efficacy; and potential side effects such as irritability, insomnia, headaches, and nausea.
- It is a medicinal Ayurvedic herb. In fact, this herb is traditionally used for various ailments but is best known as a neural tonic and memory enhancer. Bacopa Monnieri is commonly safe, but some people may encounter nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Pregnant women should not try this herb also, while those on medications should talk with their healthcare provider before using it.
- Studies show that it can boost muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance. But, some people believe that Creatine is risky and has many side effects, however no evidence backs these. Creatine is naturally found in muscle cells. It supports your muscles provide energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Moreover, taking Creatine as a supplement is very common among athletes and bodybuilders to obtain muscles, enhance strength and enhance exercise performance.
- Donepezil is used to manage dementia in people who have Alzheimer’s disease. This drug is in a class of medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. Baiscally, it promotes mental function (such as memory, attention, the ability to interact with others, speak, think clearly, and perform regular daily activities) by increasing a particular naturally occurring chemical in the brain. Unfortunately, Donepezil may cause harmful side effects and life-threatening overdose.
- Vyvanse is a prescription drug used to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Take note that treatment for ADHD also generally requires behavioral therapies. This drug is a federally controlled substance because it has the potential for abuse or dependence. Both Vyvanse and Adderall are in the amphetamine family of drugs, which means they can cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms. In addition, symptoms of withdrawal include shakiness, inability to sleep, excessive sweating. Given that, your doctor can help you lower the dose a little at a time so you can safely stop taking the drug.
- Modafinil is helpful to manage excessive sleepiness caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or shift work sleep disorder. However, you should not take this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction or skin rash.
- To make sure modafinil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- Angina (chest pain)
- Cirrhosis or other liver problem
- Kidney Disease
- High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, or History of Heart Attack
- A history of mental illness or psychosis
- History of alcoholism or drug addiction
- Concerta (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant prescription drug. It can help enhance your ability to pay attention, stay focused on an activity, and control behavior problems. On the other hand, you should not use Concerta if you have glaucoma, tics or Tourette’s syndrome, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation. Despite of the fact it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction.
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The Common Side Effects of Study Drugs
There are many possible side effects of study drugs, particularly when you abuse them non-medically. Some of the more common side effects may include:
- Elevated Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
- Increased Body Temperature
- Decreased Appetite
- Insomnia or Sleep Problems
Some side effects can lead to severe health complications, indicating that the user has developed a new health condition. Provided that, if you know someone is taking study drugs without a prescription, be sure to seek medical attention if they start to exhibit any of the following:
- Extremely high temperature, blood pressure, or heart rate
- Psychotic symptoms, such as delusions or hearing voices
- Changes in eyesight or blurred vision
Developing Addiction to Study Drugs
It can be difficult for parents to spot study drug abuse in their child, especially early on when their child may show more enthusiasm and focus at school. However, some of the symptoms of addiction with study drug abuse are noticeable with the below signs of stimulant use:
- Dilated Pupils
- Going for long periods without sleeping or eating
- Unexplained and sometimes rapid weight loss
- There are periods of excessive talking and excitement, followed by a “crash” (described by symptoms like low interest, negative mood, or sleeping for long periods)
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Addiction Treatment for Study Drugs
If you know someone or your child is struggling with study drugs abuse, know that you are not alone. Above all, various treatment options are available to help your loved one recover from dependence on the drug or addiction.
- Evidence-Based Therapies: Therapy can help people identify their triggers for drug use and help them learn healthy alternatives and coping skills.
- 12-Step Programs and Support Groups: Several programs and groups for young adults struggling with drug abuse are available to help someone know they’re not alone; for them to learn from the battles of different people struggling with addiction. These programs provide peer support and addiction education.
- Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab: Rehab programs accommodate a combination of individual and group counseling, peer support groups, medication (if required), and other complementary treatment care services. Treatment may take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis and can last anywhere from 30 days to more than a year, depending on addiction severity. Many young adults’ inpatient programs provide academic services for them to not get behind in school during treatment.
If you’re unsure how to discuss these with your child or loved one, consider reaching out to professionals for help. For instance, try talking with your loved one’s teachers, coaches, and other role models in their lives. Additionally, you may even consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist for additional support.
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For anyone who suffers from addiction, just the thought of having to stop using can cause severe mental distress. But, with the help of a medical detox center, the medical detox process is manageable. You’ll undergo a comfortable detox because a comprehensive team prescribing medications can alleviate your withdrawal pains; while monitoring your health 24 hours. Most importantly, we are assuring both your safety and comfort.
At We Level Up New Jersey treatment center, our thorough approach to rehabilitation supports several levels of care because we ensure the best possible outcome for every patient who enters our doors. Firstly, from an intensive and more supportive atmosphere for those in the early days of recovery to a comfortable residential-style living dynamic upon completion of detox, we are here to help guide you down the safe and results-based path to your sobriety.
So, to start reclaiming your life or save your loved one from addiction and undergo study drugs addiction treatment, you may contact us, and we will guide you to recovery.
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 Methylphenidate Abuse and Psychiatric Side Effects – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
 Dextroamphetamine – The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists