More and more students are using illicit drugs as study aids, complicating drug control and prevention efforts at college and university campuses nationwide. This trend is increasing even among students who would not normally be considered part of an at-risk demographic for substance abuse. However, today’s college student is often overburdened with coursework, a job or internship, and family and social life. Additionally, some students just procrastinate. Whatever the case may be, students are turning to drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and meth in order to stay awake, remain focused and have enough energy to make it through the day. Understanding this trend is critical considering that these drugs are extraordinarily addictive, with many students becoming hopelessly dependent upon them.,Most of the drugs used as study aids are in the stimulant class. This includes methamphetamines or speed, cocaine and prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. Students that abuse these drugs report that while under their effects they are able to focus for quizzes, tests, special projects, labs and homework that would otherwise either not get done at all, or get done rather shabbily. Reports of students taking such drugs and staying up all night studying for a test or pushing a large project together last-minute are common. Other students report taking these drugs during the school day in order to stay awake; some even report staying awake on stimulants for days at a time.,The prevalence of students using drugs as study aids is alarmingly high. Statepress published an article by Chase Kamp regarding the growing trend;,”In a study released this month conducted by University of Kentucky professor Alan DeSantis, 34 percent of nearly 2,000 UK students surveyed said they had taken the some kind of ADD medication without a prescription.,The study also found that more than 50 percent of juniors and seniors had taken the drugs to aid in their studies.”,Unfortunately, it’s not likely that these figures are accurate. The fact of the matter is that even during a confidential self-reporting questionnaire or survey many students would not admit to illicit drugs use. In some cases this is out of embarrassment, in other cases it’s because the students don’t see anything wrong with it, and in many cases respondents fear serious repercussions and punishments should it be discovered that they are using drugs as a study aid. These risks are very real and include arrest and incarceration, being expelled from school, having a criminal record, losing employment opportunities and other consequences. However, the physical consequences are perhaps the most threatening.,Stimulants of any type – especially those generally used as study aids – are extremely dangerous to the human body. Side effects can range anywhere from vomiting to seizure to coma to death. Stimulants have a powerful effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and in some cases have been known to cause heart attacks in students as young as 17. Regular use of these substances nearly always leads to tolerance, dependence and eventually outright addiction. Once this stage has been reached the student must seek the help of an addiction treatment center or quite literally risk losing their life and everything they’ve worked for.