Abusing Adderall or Ritalin has become more and more common among college students in the United States. This is because the ADHD drugs are amphetamine-like stimulants and they are often abused as so-called “study drugs,” where students will take them to stay up longer to study before a test.
Some college students have begun taking modafinil, which is a eugeroic and is also known by brand names such as Alertec, Modavigil, and Provigil. This is a drug that is prescribed to people who suffer from narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a disorder where a person struggles to stay awake during the day and often falls asleep during relaxing conditions. Physicians prescribe modafinil to people with narcolepsy because it helps them stay awake, which is likely why more and more college students are trying to get their hands on the drug. Although it is an alternative to an amphetamine, it still has a potential abuse and dependency.
Unfortunately, many young people who take ADHD medications or other prescriptions like modafinil do not consider they are abusing drugs or doing something wrong. There is a strong misconception among college students that it is perfectly fine or even normal to take other people’s prescription drugs in order to get an extra boost. However, some people are pointing at colleges for creating an atmosphere where students have to be drugged in order to perform well enough. The fear is that these college students are falling into a trap that they will not be able to get out of, especially when test demands coincide with limited maturity and a “party” lifestyle. People can quickly find themselves seeking a chemical solution to every problem they have in life.
In addition to immediate and potential long term effects of modafinil, many experts feel it is important to point out that young people who use prescription drugs nonmedically are also much more likely to abuse other substances as well.