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Amphetamine Use Up in Colleges Due To Study Pressures

Amphetamine Use Up in Colleges Due To Study Pressures

Traditionally, the use of amphetamines were considered the drug of choice primarily for truck drivers and third shifters trying to stay awake. Today, however, there is a new group of people taking to using “speed” – American college students.

Worsening Problem

Among young people overall, amphetamine use is quite limited, with less than three percent of the population under 25 admitting to having tried amphetamines. However, among college students in the same age group, usage nearly doubles to six percent. Amphetamines are one of the most addictive and potentially harmful physically and emotionally of all the major drug categories. Long term addiction can lead to dramatic mental and physical deterioration that has given rise to the drug culture slogan, “Speed Kills.” So why are today’s college students becoming involved with such a high risk substance?

The Pressure to Excel

Despite its debilitating effects, amphetamines have short term positive benefits, such as an ability to stay awake longer in a high state of alertness. Students who have a lot of schoolwork or who are having trouble getting motivated often find that commonly prescribed amphetamine drugs such as Ritalin, Strattera and Adderall help them focus on their work and escape the pressures of college life. Amphetamines often act as a mood elevator for those suffering from lethargy or depression.

Lack of Understanding

Although the use of amphetamines has become associated with better studying habits, the truth is that amphetamines actually undermine long term memory retention and impair judgement. Neither characteristic can be said to enhance studying, yet students are seduced by the artificial energy and sense of well-being amphetamines produce into believing they are doing more work of higher quality than they actually are. Students are also often unaware of the risks of addiction posed by amphetamines until it’s too late.

Dealing with Amphetamine Abuse

Amphetamine Use Up in Colleges Due To Study Pressures The problem of student abuse of amphetamines is growing, with younger and younger students becoming involved. A USA Today survey showed that nearly a quarter of high school students were aware of amphetamines and their role in supposedly enhancing studying. Once addiction takes hold, there is almost no way to safely withdraw from the drug without outside intervention. Ideally, this would take place in an inpatient treatment program where both withdrawal and early recovery can be monitored by professionals trained in dealing with addiction.

Early Action is Best

Because amphetamine abuse can be extensively damaging to an individual in a relatively short period of time, early action to get an amphetamine user into treatment is of the utmost importance. The sooner such treatment begins, the less damage will be done and the better the chances for a complete recovery. Parents and schools can also help by warning students about the dangers of amphetamines before they leave for college. With the right education beforehand, and access to professional treatment as soon as a problem develops, much can be done to reduce the frequency and harm of amphetamine use on campus.


  • Angie

    We do put a lot of pressure on our young adults to do well in school. We give them a huge work load and a tight window to get it done in. I can see that this can definitely lead to more than just pulling all-nighters to get studying done. I think parents should be educating their kids, regularly talking to them about life and what is going on for them, and yes, educating them on the effects of amphetamines and what abusing them can do to them. It’s so important! I hope educators are also taking precautions to ensure students aren’t feeling the pressure to turn to amphetamines to be able to keep up with the work they need to get done.

  • Jonathan

    Yes amphetamines have positive affects and can be used for medical purposes but majorly, it is abused and people can’t really be trusted with it as it is widely abused. Kid’s do love it for school so they can stay up and study. For instance, my little cousin at the age of sixteen was able to get his hands on caffeine pills to stay awake. Respectfully, our economy standards and structure is slacking if a child at the age of sixteen is able to get his hands on drugs.

    The fact that you are using a harmful drug for people that have trouble with focusing in school, is a quick way to turn a person into a drug addict as you are telling them that they need this drug to function normally. Automatically you are making that person dependent on the drug and when a person is considered dependent on a drug he is said to be an addict. Right there you are making an addict.

    Due to the brain damage that it does, it should not even be considered as you are using a drug to solve a problem that counteracts the solution that it is trying to solve. A snake trying to eat it’s tail if you will but the end result is complete destruction.

    If a student is addicted to speed there really is no way to get him off of it other than an inpatient rehab facility. Very few students are wise and aware enough to see that they have a problem and have enough self control to stop doing it. The safest way to go about it is to talk that person about rehab and getting him into it.

  • Walter

    I remember there are a lot of people that I know that used these drugs to study. It was actually quite shocking that soo many people were using these drugs to study, but at the same time if you are a student without the skills to study, then I can understand where the allure is to use them. I myself was always scared of those types of drugs. But this is definitely a problem that needs to be confronted and handled. There is a fact that there are too many anti-depressant drugs that are being off labely used and prescribed in general. We are going to reach a tipping point according to what I see where we will have an entire society medicated, even more so then the one that we are already living in. When everyone is using these drugs I feel that the turning point will be hit, but if we can get it across to these people that they can study perfectly fine if they learn how to study, and that would make the drugs not needed.

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