Study Drugs - Worth the Risk?

It's dangerous

...misuse or abuse of amphetamine may result in serious (possibly fatal) heart and blood pressure problems - WebMD

You don't want to harm yourself, or anyone else if you provided them with Adderall.

It's Illegal

  • To obtain Adderall and/or other stimulant drugs without a proper prescription;
  • To sell or distribute Adderall and/or other stimulant drugs under any circumstances.

Obtaining, selling or distributing the drug can result in felony charges that carry with them significant fines or even jail time.

Disciplinary sanctions may also be imposed for nonacademic misconduct.

Adderall (and similar stimulants such as Ritalin) are generally prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

But increasingly, students who do not need the drug for medical reasons are turning to these stimulants to stay alert during tests, late-night study sessions, and all night parties; some also use Adderall to aid in weight loss.

In addition to serious side effects and legal consequences, Adderall is a Schedule II narcotic (so is Cocaine), meaning it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to addiction.

Adderall Myths


  • Myth: “Adderall will help me do better academically."
  • Fact: There is no evidence that it helps students get better grades.
  • Read more »

Weight loss

  • Myth: “Adderall will help me lose weight without making lifestyle changes.”
  • Fact: The weight loss is temporary. When you stop taking it, you’ll gain the weight back.
  • Read more »

Recreational (Go Ask Alice)

  • Myth: “Adderall allows me to party and drink all night.”
  • Fact: Adderall masks the effect of alcohol intoxication, placing you at risk for alcohol poisoning.
  • Read more »

If you are concerned about your use of Adderall or other stimulants, or if you're concerned about a friend, we can help.

UHS Services


  • If you are concerned about your own drug use; or if you are concerned that a friend or student is abusing Adderall or stimulant prescription drugs and would like to talk about it, come to UHS Counseling and Consultative Services, 333 East Campus Mall, 7th floor, anytime between 9 am and 4 PM, Monday through Friday. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call 608-265-5600 (select option 9). If you have a medical emergency, dial 911.
  • If you would like to be evaluated for ADHD, please come to the reception desk of the UHS Counseling and Consultation Services (333 East Campus Mall, 7th floor) any time between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday for an Access consultation.
  • If you have a prescription from home and would like to transfer your care to UHS, you must first be seen in person by a psychiatric provider. Read more about transfer of care »

Parents:: If you have an incoming student who is currently being treated with ADHD, learn more about transferring care to UHS. If you suspect your student may have a drug abuse problem and would like advice on how to talk to your son or daughter or learn how UHS can help, call 608-265-5600 (option 2).

Faculty/staff: If you are concerned about a student, we can help you with ways to address the situation. Contact us at 608-265-5600 (select option 2).

Is it worth it?
Side effects include:

  • High risk of addiction
  • Chest pain and fast heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Crashing and fatigue
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Impotence
  • Hallucinations

Use and Abuse of Adderall

Adderall may seem like a quick fix, but in reality, it can lead to long term problems. Even if you only take Adderall occasionally to study for an exam or write a paper, eventually you will find that you can't function as well without it.

Over time, your body may come to depend on Adderall just to function normally resulting in dependence and addiction.

Signs of addiction include:

  • Tolerance develops.
  • “Quick fix” sessions become frequent and users snort, smoke, or inject the drug (for faster effects) rather than swallowing the pill.
  • You start to depend on Adderall to feel normal and deal with everyday situations. Individuals lose control over their use of the drug.
  • Adderall becomes a priority over other concerns (friends, work) and the user will do anything to get it, even resorting to theft or illegal means.
  • Continues to abuse the drug despite the damaging consequences.

Withdrawal symptoms

Symptoms can include tiredness, panic attacks, crankiness, extreme hunger, severe depression and nightmares. Some people experience a "binge crash" pattern that switches between days of sleep and no sleep. Anxiety disorders like obsessive, panic or phobic disorders can also be induced by amphetamines.