Prescription Stimulant Abuse
There is a lot of pressure placed on students to perform well in school. Of course, there are many college students that drink away their college years and either drop out or have a hard time learning what they need to know. But for those that are in college to get an education and prepare themselves for the real world, there is a lot of pressure to do well. Hard exams on top of many assignments need to be juggled with labs and internships and possibly a job. Sometimes it seems there are not enough hours in a day to get everything done. College students for years now have been tempted to rely on various substances to get them through the busy times, or to help them stay awake while they are “pulling an all-nighter” to study.
Coffee, tea, and soda will only get a body so far in staying awake, and then even these caffeinated substances soon lose their effect. To really stay awake to study, students have turned to energy drinks like Red Bull, or energy tablets. For those looking for an easier way out, there’s speed, which will keep the user up all night easily, and into the next day. Speed has been used for years by college students and truck drivers who need to stay awake. Other substances, like ADHD medications Adderall and Ritalin, are also passed out among college students as a way to keep the mind going.
That doesn’t mean it is alright to use these substances. We might try to justify the use of speed by saying it’s for a good cause, and we are being responsible and only taking as much as is needed to get us through. But speed is illegal, and it can be dangerous. Speed can damage the brain, it can make the user lose their good judgment, and it can cause a dependence on the substance. Many people make their own speed in home based labs, and these have been known to blow up and cause damage or injury.
But still some people see a real need for products to stimulate the mind and keep the user awake. A new product, Study Buddy, claims to do that in a safe way. This pharmacist-developed capsule uses all natural ingredients like ginseng and gingko biloba to increase blood flow to the brain, improving memory and mental alertness.
Study Buddy is manufactured by a lab which is overseen by the Federal Drug Administration, but the FDA has not examined this product and no studies have been done on its effectiveness. These kinds of supplements may not pose a direct threat to users, but if we truly want to be healthy and lead a substance-free life, we need to avoid these things too. Certainly doing an illicit drug is not something we should consider. As far as the legal pick-me-ups, these can make us numb to the use of drugs. Our society already has an attitude that we can fix all our problems with a pill, and over time this thinking can lead to some pretty dangerous substance abuse problems.
Utilizing the Benefits of a Sober College
A new kind of treatment for college students has emerged in recent years. One such facility is called Sober College, and it offers specialized treatment along with college courses. The college is located in Woodland Hills, California, and it offers inpatient treatment and a drug and alcohol-free environment for learning. The students of Sober College have been in college before, or had hoped to apply, but weren’t able to follow through with their education because of drug or alcohol problems. The center has partnered with Woodbury University, which is a nonprofit institution nearby that offers master’s level courses. Professors from Woodbury teach online courses to Sober College students, and the credits can be transferred to other universities as credits earned at Woodbury.
Staff and faculty of Sober College work to get students back on the right track toward continue their education. Its primary goal is to help bring these young people through the struggle with substance abuse that has been hindering their long-term goals. There is an alcohol abuse and drug addiction epidemic on college campuses right now, and this is detrimental to the learning ability of students. But by taking the students away from those temptations, getting them help for their addictions, and letting them offer encouragement and support to each other, a program for college aged patients can be successful. By adding college-level courses on top of it all, these patients are now on their way to setting priorities in life that include getting an education.
When we find out that people just like us struggle with substance abuse, it makes it a little easier to open up and face our problem. We all fall sometimes on our journey through life, and it’s good to have people around us that have been through the same thing to help us get back up. College students are no different. With programs like Sober College they can encourage each other in their studies while learning to be sober.