The use of “study drugs” on Pennsylvania’s college campuses

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2020 | Drug Charges

To most high school graduates, college may represent freedom. Not just from the parental figures, but also from the rigorous study for standardized testing through junior high and high school to get into the best colleges in the country. 

The University of Pennsylvania ranks No. 6 in the 2020 edition of U.S. New’s Best Colleges. For students to stay ahead in their classes and maintain good grades, they may feel the need to resort to “study drugs.” What are “study drugs,” and what can happen to a student’s college career if he or she decides to obtain these drugs illegally? 

Study drugs 

According to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, one in five college students admitted to abusing prescription drugs at least once. Students said that they feel pressure to stay competitive, and the only way to do that is to take unprescribed stimulants. The most abused drugs are for ADD and ADHD. Some of these stimulants include the following: 

  • Adderall 
  • Ritalin 
  • Concerta 
  • Focalin 
  • Vyvanse 
  • Modafinil 
  • Adrafinil 
  • Phenylpiracetam 

Adderall and Ritalin may help students to stay awake and maintain focus to study for a test or finish an assignment. Modafinil and Adrafinil are Nootropic drugs. They are for the treatment of narcolepsy and are not a stimulant medication. 


Procuring drugs may make students commit illegal acts. In some cases, students who take prescribed medications for ADD or ADHD may sell their pills to make a little extra cash. Others may decide to steal prescription pads to obtain the drugs. Sanctions against a student for these crimes may include: 

  • Reprimand 
  • Fine 
  • Restitution 
  • Disciplinary probation 
  • Withdrawal of privileges 
  • Indefinite suspension 
  • Expulsion 

Students may not consider the prior list of drugs controlled substances. However, as with the drug Adderall, the combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine makes it a Schedule II drug with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A student must have a prescription to carry a “study drug” legally.