The abuse of drugs is not always related to the feelings that the substance provides. In some cases, young adults and students are abusing substances to improve their focus or study skills. While it is important to remain focused in school or at work, it is also dangerous to use drugs as a method of improving focus. If you are worried about a loved one, then it can help to recognize the drugs that may be abused for improved focus or study skills.


Adderall is a prescription medication that is commonly prescribed for individuals who are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, says NBC News Today. When used appropriately, the medication can help individuals who are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder calm down so that they are able to pay attention and focus.

Although the stimulant is used for a legitimate medical purpose, NBC News Today explains that more college students are using the stimulant in an effort to focus in the classroom or to stay awake for overnight study sessions. The problem with the substance is that it is addictive and can be habit forming when it is not taken with the directions of a medical doctor.

The side effects associated with Adderall include:

  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety or unexplained fears
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

Depending on the individual, the substance can be dangerous to physical and emotional health. Since Adderall is an amphetamine drug, it can also be very addictive when it is not taken with the directions and supervision of a medical professional.


The Huffington Post reports that students are also using the prescription Ritalin to help improve focus and their ability to study. Ritalin is a stimulant drug that is commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although it is prescribed for legitimate medical reasons, it is also dangerous to individuals who are using the substance inappropriately or who do not have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The potential side effects of Ritalin, according to RX List, include:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • General agitation or irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Although Ritalin is not an amphetamine medication, it is potentially addictive. Using the drug in an effort to improve focus can be very dangerous to young adults. The Huffington Post reports that roughly 5 percent of college students use a prescription stimulant to improve their study skills, which is significantly higher than the rates of illicit substance abuse within the same age group.

Dangers of Stimulant Abuse

Prescription stimulants are relatively easy to obtain in colleges because there are many students who are taking the medication for legitimate reasons. The problem with the substance is that there is a risk of addiction and there are several dangers that can arise in relation to the substance abuse.

The abuse of the stimulants may cause negative effects on the body. Potential dangers associated with the abuse of the prescription substances include:

  • Physical exhaustion when the medication wears off
  • Depression, which may become severe when the substance is abused for an extended period of time
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Anger or irritability
  • Potential dangers when combined with other drugs

Prescription medications are designed to improve physical well-being when they are used by individuals who need them. When the medications are abused, it can be risky and potentially life-threatening.

Substance abuse is not only related to the use of illegal drugs. Some individuals can become addicted to prescriptions and may be using drugs for a purpose that differs from the original intent. Drugs that are abused to improve focus are potentially dangerous, so it is important to seek help if a loved one is abusing the prescription stimulants.