Students should improve their study habits, not rely on study drugs


By Alyssa Pracz

For some college students, blaming their poor study habits on having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a popular excuse. Although ADHD is a legitimate learning disability which a lot of people really do suffer from, some students just need to develop better study methods before resorting to study drugs, such as Adderall, especially without being properly diagnosed by a doctor.

Everyone has been in a situation at one point or another where you’re just sitting at a desk, reading the same sentence in a book over and over again or blankly staring at the computer screen trying to write a paper. To help avoid these moments, an article on lists some reasonable tips on how to stay focused.

One of the most obvious solutions is to eliminate your biggest distractions; turn off your cell phone, stay off Facebook and go to a distraction-free environment. Completely turning off your phone rather than just putting it on silent will help prevent you from checking it frequently, because most people will be inclined to check it even more often if they think they may be missing out on something important.

Also, make sure to grab everything you need before you sit down and get to work. Bring a snack if you know you’ll be hungry, a beverage, all the materials you need to study and go to the bathroom beforehand. This doesn’t sound important, but taking care of the little things before you get to work can prevent you from being distracted by having to get up for a snack or going to the bathroom. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we are being productive by taking care of these little things instead of focusing on the task at hand.

Other big factors that may affect concentration are our internal thoughts and the need to do something physical. At times, it can seem impossible to focus when you’re stressed and worrying about your job or a quarrel with a boyfriend or girlfriend. If these thoughts keep popping up in your head, it’s best to try and block it out by telling yourself you’ll focus on that particular problem at a later time.

If you’re someone who gets bored easily and likes to be moving around and active, try providing yourself with something that allows you to do so. Try underlining words as you’re studying or taking detailed notes. Besides helping you remember what information is important, you are actively participating with the materials.

Also, you might want to try tossing a ball around to yourself or playing with a rubber band. This allows you to focus while being in movement if you are someone who doesn’t like just sitting still. Adopting study skills as simple as these can improve your learning abilities without relying on study drugs.

Prescription drugs, such as Adderall, have different effects on people and should not just be given out like candy. According to, some of the uses of the drug include making a person feel more awake, having more sexual desire and increasing focus and productiveness.

If using this particular drug when not prescribed to it, however, many different effects can damage a person’s health. Some of the ingredients in Adderall have often caused allergic reactions, or when mixed with another medication that someone may be on, can create issues that were unexpected.

Not knowing what you’re getting yourself into puts your body at risk. Side effects of the drug include anorexia, dry mouth, chronic thirst, difficulty sleeping, unexplained weight loss, mood swings, heartburn and many others.

If you think you suffer from ADHD to the point where you are unable to study effectively without medication, get diagnosed by a doctor instead of buying them off of someone who has a prescription. Otherwise, try to develop better study habits naturally.