Though drug abuse has been defined in many ways, most healthcare professionals agree that it is characterized by excessive use of drugs despite the problems that it creates in the individual’s life, and compulsive and repetitive use followed by withdrawal symptoms if drug use is stopped. There are many different types of drugs that are commonly abused, but on college campuses, the most frequently abused drugs are adderall or its equivalent, marijuana, and cocaine.

Adderall and its equivalents are drugs prescribed to treat ADHD. Adderall is a stimulant drug that increases the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which increases heart rate and blood pressure as well as increasing attention span and reaction time. Because of these effects, Adderall has become the “study drug” on college campuses to help focus energy and concentration on school work. Negative effects of abusing adderall are:

  • you may become addicted to it,
  • inhibits true learning,
  • increased heart rate and blood pressure,
  • feelings of weakness,
  • upset stomach,
  • difficulty sleeping,
  • and headaches.

Using Adderall is very dangerous if taken without a prescription. If you or your friends take Adderall as a study drug, stop immediately and tell your friends to stop as well.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the plant cannabis and if consumed, can cause serious health risks. Many students use marijuana as a way to relax and escape the problems of everyday life. Marijuana use has been associated with the development of depression, anxiety, and psychosis. It has also been suggested that marijuana is a gateway drug, meaning that once an individual uses marijuana, they will feel more confident and comfortable with other types of drug use. Marijuana is illegal in the state of Alabama. Users of marijuana should consider their health and legal status before smoking again.

Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug, and it is illegal in virtually all parts of the world. Cocaine’s effects can last up to 30 minutes or an hour, and increases alertness, feelings of well-being, energy, motor activity, sexuality, and feelings of competence. Also, cocaine can cause extreme anxiety, paranoia, restlessness, tremors, convulsions, and increased body temperature. Cocaine addictions are very dangerous, and cocaine usage should be stopped immediately.

Below is a list of resources that gives more information about the harmful effects of these three commonly used drugs.

Last Updated: 6/13/2011