Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs Among College Students

In College And Drug Addicted Library

College students today face unprecedented pressure to excel in multiple areas while balancing a rigorous schedule that typically involves academics, work, athletics, social activities, relationships and more.

In the face of demands that are often quite unrealistic to manage and maintain, many students many find themselves looking externally for ways to keep up with their lifestyle and schedules.

For many students, this may involve the use of medications and drugs, most commonly stimulant prescription drugs, as a way to increase focus, awareness, alertness, and productivity.

Understanding the Nature of Drug Abuse Among College Students

The non-medical use of prescription drugs is a problematic tendency among many students and countless college campuses. College students who have a prescription from a physician for a stimulant drug, such as Adderall or Ritalin, can either use the drug inappropriately for personal use or misuse the drug by offering it to friends or roommates.


Use of a stimulant prescription drug without a prescription is highly dangerous and can lead to many adverse side effects and physical complications.

Many students are under the false impression that a single use of a drug is harmless or because a drug is prescribed by a physician (versus street drugs) is more safe for consumption.

However, it a student has not been individually assessed for the need of a stimulant medication and is self-prescribing for non-medical reasons, this can certainly lead to many complications.

Despite the risks associated with drug sharing, many college students often obtain stimulant prescription medications from friends and family members, and as these prescriptions are highly addictive, this can lead to drug seeking behaviors.

Approaching Prescription Drug Abuse For Early Treatment

If you have a loved one who is a college student and suspect that he/she is abusing prescription medications, be sure to address your concerns as soon as possible.

While this is a delicate subject to address, expressing your concerns in a caring way can be an effective way for bringing an issue to light and helping your loved one connect to the help and treatment they need for recovery.

If you are unsure about the best way to approach prescription drug abuse with a college student you care for, consider speaking with a professional who can help guide you through this sensitive issue.

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 14, 2016
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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.