The Danger of Recreational Prescription Drug Use on College Campuses

This is a guest post by Kristina Gibbs.

Prescription drug use as a way to get high is becoming more popular among people of all ages, but especially for young adults. Many people are under the belief using these drugs to get high is safer than using street drugs; these drugs are prescribed by physicians as medicine and approved for use by the FDA. However, when a person uses these drugs to get high, which usually includes using them an abusive manner, or uses them not as prescribed or when unnecessary, this practice become extremely dangerous.

While marijuana use is still the primary drug of choice, prescription drug abuse is running a close second. The prescription drug abuse statistics speak for themselves. More people have died as a result of abusing prescription drugs over the past few years than from using cocaine and heroin combined.

Many college kids have turned to prescription drugs for various reasons and recreational prescription drug plagues college campuses across America. A recent article stated “While students might take prescription drugs for the ‘high’ feeling, it’s dangerous and lethal. Abusing prescription stimulants can result in death, addiction, respiratory problems, seizures and cardiovascular issues, such as an irregular heartbeat, according to a report by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. And prescription drugs, including opioids and antidepressants, are responsible for more overdose deaths than street drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and amphetamines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Some Students Feel Drugs Help Their Academic Performance

Many students may take what are known as “study drugs” to improve academic performance. Drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall are easily obtained on many college campuses for around five dollars per pill. These drugs are traditionally prescribed for people who are suffering from symptoms of ADD/ADHD and are considered a part of the stimulant family of drugs. In fact, when abused, these drugs can create feelings of euphoria that are comparable the high one gets from using cocaine or methamphetamine.

When these drugs are used by people who do not need them or used abusively, they can cause potential risks similar to those seen in illegal stimulant addicts as well. Yet, many students turn to the use of these drugs as a way to help them focus or study into the late hours of the night to prepare for a test. The overall opinion that many of these students have is “Hey, if these drugs can help someone with ADD/ADHD concentrate, imagine what they could do for me.”

Prescription Drugs Can Be Very Addictive

Some prescription drugs, such as prescription opiates, have the potential to be extremely physically and psychologically addictive. If taken for a long period of time, some of these drugs have the potential to create addictions as powerful as those seen in heroin addiction. Other prescription drugs have the potential to be habit-forming are as follows:

•             Prescription sleep aids

•             Some prescription antidepressants

•             Prescription anti-anxiety benzodiazepines

•             Muscle relaxers

•             Tranquilizers

It’s important to realize improperly used prescription drugs are dangerous and to get immediate help, if you are suffering from an addiction to one.

About the Author: Kristina Gibbs is a health writer who specializes in drug addiction-related topics. For more information on prescription drug addiction or to find help for someone who is suffering from it, contact your local Narconon center today or visit

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