DUBUQUE – A new homework aid, otherwise known as ‘study drugs’ is becoming a popular cure for a case of procrastination among college students.
The Assistant Professor of Psychology at Loras College, Steffanie Schilder explains, “It’s a class of drugs that are called stimulants so they are things that are meant to raise energy and alertness and make people more focused.”
For students with a prescription, these stimulants help bring focus and balance. However, many of the students using these medications are without a prescription or even a medical need.
An anonymous student at Loras without a diagnosed need for medication talks about their experience with stimulant drugs, “I take adderall before a big test or if I have a long night of studying or finals week, it will help me get through all the big assignments that I have.”
But if it helps students become more focused on school, then what’s the problem?
Tricia Borelli, Director of Counseling explains, “You kind of get into this crazy pattern and then you feel like, ‘I need to take that again because that was the only way I was successful’ and it’s really because you didn’t get sleep and you didn’t eat right.”
Along with this, the use without a diagnosed disorder can also lead to long term attention problems and motor skill impairment.
Schilder says, “Think of it like caffeine, the first time you have a caffeinated soda you probably have a lot more energy. Then it gets to a point where students have several massive coffee drinks and they’re like, “I don’t feel it at all!” It’s the same kind of thing with these types of medications.”
Despite the warnings, many college students still choose to indulge.
The anonymous user states, “If it comes down to choosing between the minimal side effects and a good test grade, I’m always gonna chose the good test grade.”