“Study Drugs”: The Mechanisms of ADHD Medications and Their Abuse on College Campuses

Cite as: 3 GEO. L. TECH. REV. 476 (2019)

The term “study drugs” refers to a sub-class of prescription stimulants, approved by the FDA for the treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), that students routinely abuse to enhance academic performance. This sub-class, categorized as substituted phenethylamines, includes methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), and a mixture of amphetamine salts (Adderall). In the past decade, illicit abuse (i.e., without a prescription) of study drugs on college campuses has skyrocketed, with studies estimating that up to thirty-five percent of college students abuse such stimulant medications.1

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Peter Pyatigorsky

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. Candidate 2020; Long Island University,Brooklyn Campus, B.S. Biology. My sincerest gratitude goes out to the sublime GLTR editors, without whom this piece would not have been possible.