Essay Sample on College Students Misusing Stimulant Medication: A Growing Concern

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1761 Words
Date:  2023-01-29


Stimulant medication refers to the use of drugs that excite bodily functions. In most cases, stimulant medication is used to stimulate the brain and the central nervous system so that users can elevate their moods, increase motor activity and speech, to be alert, among other functions. However, College students are misusing stimulant medication something that draws concern in American society. Misuse of this stimulant medication is a problem since students use the drugs that have not been assigned a prescription. This is nothing other than drugs abuse and in its broad search, there are many health problems that may arise from the misuse of these stimulant medications. Misuse of stimulant medication is increasing at an unprecedented rate as College students take the drugs without prescription.

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Despite the fact that college students are affected by the misuse of stimulant medication, the society and the family are also affected. For instance, when the health of students who abuse the drugs diminish, consequences are transferred to the family. Studies highlights that misuse of stimulant medication affects the socioeconomic status of many families (White, Becker-Please, and Grace-Bishop 265). It is, therefore, true to say that the general public is affected due to its problems. Others should care abuse the misuse of stimulant medication to enable develop an intervention for the prevention of the affected students. At the same time, it will be easy for the general public to identify those students who use stimulants without prescription and focus on educating them about the consequences of drug abuse and also educate them on the importance of prescription medication. For instance, therapists are the major team that should care about the misuse of drugs among College students because they have the ability to engage them in counseling sessions and team them about the adverse effects of drug misuse. Effects such as cardiac problems and death are among the serious consequences that should be the concern of not only the counselors but also the students who abuse these drugs.

Weyandt et al. avow that the significance of the use of stimulant medication misuse among College students mainly to keep them alert and also improve academic performance. However, research shows that the perceived reasons are true but there are many health effects that undermine the students. Other who misuse these drugs say that they want to lose weight and also get high (DuPaul et al. 245). Students may have many reasons as to why they use stimulants without medication. Factors that underlie the use of these medications include ADHD, alcohol problems, and use of Marijuana ((White, Becker-Please, and Grace-Bishop 268). Students misuse stimulant medication to allow digestion of alcohol and to reduce ADHD symptoms. Other students also believe that when they use stimulants, they will be active most of the time, especially at night. Evidence suggests that students from the upperclassmen are likely to misuse stimulants as compared to those of low class. Primary, it is true since they prefer luxury and partying which involves drug use. Misuse of these drugs also help reduce fatigue, increase body temperature, induce talkativeness and also produce a feeling of self-control.

There are potential consequences of misuse of stimulant medication among college students, for instance, death, cardiac problems, euphoria, toxic psychosis, confusion, to mention but a few are among the consequences that come up as a result of the misuse. These are dangerous side effects that affect not only the health, but also the physical, social, cognitive, and psychological status. Weyandt et al., says that students who misused stimulant medications are reported to have disorders such as mood disturbances, auditory hallucinations, and excessive aggressiveness. Among other violent behaviors, students require treatment of these traits in order to feel normal and be accepted into society. This problem should be a priority due to its health risks including heart problems, physical and mental risks. Consequently, if students are not taught about the negative effects that are associated with the misuse of this stimulant medication, they will develop an addiction to the drugs. Their brains and body cells will depend on the drugs for them to function something that can be said to be a psychological, mental and physical disorder.


The authors provide competing perspectives that explain the misuse of stimulant medication among college students (Weyandt et al. 385). According to them, difficulties with inattention and hyperactivity are among the factors that make students to misuse the stimulant medications. They either take the drugs in overdose or use drugs without prescription. College students with ADHD primarily have learning disabilities and the majority of these students are males (DuPaul et al. 235). They, therefore, use the stimulants in excess to stimulate their brains and nervous system so that they can increase their level of mastery when it comes to academic studying. However, there has been a debate on how to solve the problem, there are different treatment methods including academic and behavior approaches, which are implemented and tailored towards meeting the needs of the students who are affected (DuPaul et al. 249). Students are presented with problem-solving tasks such as algorithms in order to improve their thinking and provide solutions without necessarily relying on drugs. They are also educated to belief on the power of their thinking since behavior is belief-driven. The perspectives can be used differently without endorsing any and evidence indicates that each refrains a result without depending on any, that is, response inhibition has produced significant results.


"Methylphenidate" is a non-addictive stimulant that was first discovered in 1944, and it was meant to regulate the behavior of children, and also regulate "hyperkinesis" (Sussman 15). Most cases of misuse of stimulants emanated from prescribed college students distributing, or selling these stimulant drugs to their peers (Benson 50). "Stimulant medicines" are usually used for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to reduce the effects connected with the problem of concentrating, and unable to control their impulse (Benson 50). Examples of these drugs include: "Methylphenidate," "amphetamine," and "dextroamphetamine" (Sussman 15). These drugs require a prescription (Benson 51). According to a study conducted between 2002, and 2010, revealed that the rate of stimulant prescriptions among youths below age 18 augmented by 46 percent (Benson 51). Further, several studies project the prevalence degree of ADHD to be between 3-9 percent in youths below age 18, and more particularly college students.

Currently, as the incidences of stimulant medication prescription augments, also the non-medical stimulant use among college students is also increasing (DuPaul et al. 235). According to a survey conducted on college students with prescriptions, revealed that stimulants were the most usually share medication with other students (Benson 51-52). It further stated that approximately 62 percent of these college students had either sold or shared their medications with other colleagues more than once (Sussman 15). Several studies report that as an estimated 45 percent of college students used non-medical stimulants in one way or another. (Benson 50-51). The term "diversion" in this context occurs when a college student under stimulant prescription shares, sells or distributes stimulant medications to other students who are not prescribed.

Prescription stimulants are very effective at alleviating ADHD symptoms. There are a number of reasons why college students use prescription stimulants- to regulate their weight, reduce stress. Other college students use it for wrong reasons like to "get high," improve their party experience, self-medicate themselves for their depressive conditions, and improve their athletic performance (doping). When stimulants are used without prescriptions it tends to bring additional health risks to the college students.

Individuals who use non-medical stimulant are at the risk of developing cardiac-related complications. Volkow avows that the college students who misused "methylphenidate" has a "high" effect comparable to the that in hard drugs like "Cocaine," and "Heroine" (Benson 52). The moment an individual uses an overdose of stimulants they are at risk of developing delirium, confusion. Euphoria, psychosis, outbursts, and hallucinations (Benson 52-3). Contemporary, there are further reasons that can be attributed to stimulant misuse, and they include: augmenting tendencies of diversion of non-medical stimulants among college students, apparent accessibility of stimulant medications, some researchers argue demographic factors of race, religion, and socioeconomic status of students while in college. Finally, the apparent effects of misuse of stimulant medication like "getting high" for party experience among college students.


As the number of stimulant prescription rates has increased in college students similarly, the number of misuse of stimulants has also augmented (Sussman 15). For example, the use of methylphenidate augmented five times in the U.S. from 1990 to 2000 (Sussman 15). According to a review steered by "National Household Survey on Drug Abuse," around 1.1 percent of the U.S. population had misused stimulants (Benson 53). One of the artifacts that were applied to see how the rate of misuse of stimulant has augmented among college students is the search procedure. 51 articles were used in the procedure. 30 articles were selected on the basis that their abstracts addressed the misuse of stimulant medication over a subsequent number of years. 13 articles were excluded since they did not include an undergraduate sample, and 8 articles were excluded since they were not empirically assessed.

Data abstraction is an artifact that was used where two intensively skilled evaluators assessed some blood samples collected in ten four-year college students to assess the rate of misuse of stimulants in them (Benson 53-54). The amounts of each size of the samples collected of misused stimulants were calculated. proportions could vary from 0 (no participants were found having misused the stimulant) to 1(all participants did misuse the stimulant). Results of the first artifact that was used indicated that the 30 articles or studies that were accepted after the assessment it was due to how they improvised wide array of research designs to show how the rate of stimulant misuse has been evident among college students (Benson 54). Twenty-three of these articles were "cross-sectional" reviews involving college scholars; Only a single review discussed briefly the "longitudinal" survey on college students at the climax of the academic year. Five articles used a mixed-method such as preliminary cross-sectional study, further there were four prospective interviews on a selected number of college students.

Twenty-six of assessed articles stated the tendencies of non-medical stimulant use by college students in overall. Two studies mentioned that the misuse was found among the students who had been given prescriptions (Benson 54-55). Two studies focused on the variations between misusers and non-users. In the fifteen studies conducted, six conveyed a lifetime occurrence rate between 5 and 16 percent (Wilens 940). Additionally, four other surveys reported a rate of 25 and 36 percent. Only one study stated an occurrence rate that was over 36 percent (White 262-63). In terms of yearly misuse of stimulants, eleven of fourteen studies stated that an estimated 5 and 12 percent of college stu...

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Essay Sample on College Students Misusing Stimulant Medication: A Growing Concern. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from

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