The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact everyone’s life and has increased the amount of stress and seclusion people are feeling which has led to worsening mental health and an increase in substance use and misuse. 

As the semester nears the end, you may find yourself feeling more overwhelmed or stressed than usual. This is normal and is experienced by many college students. When this happens, it is best to find healthy ways to cope with your stress instead of turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as using Adderall, Marijuana or other drugs. 

What is Adderall? 

Adderall is a stimulant used to treat people with ADHD and/or Narcolepsy.  It works by changing the amount of natural substances in the brain which helps people with ADHD pay attention, stay focused, and control impulsive behavior.  

Adderall is also often referred to as a study drug. Study drugs are typically stimulants that are prescribed to treat ADHD but are used by someone who doesn’t have a prescription to improve concentration and help them study.  

With any drug, there are always side effects. Some of the potential side effects associated with incorrect or unprescribed Adderall use are: 

  • Sleeping problems   
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Withdrawal  
  • Increased blood pressure and/or heart rate 
  • Heart attack 
  • Stroke 
  • Nausea  
  • Headaches 
  • Decreased sexual performance 
  • Worsened mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, panic attacks) 
  • Circulatory problems – Numbness in fingers, cold toes  

Why risk it? Instead, focus on building healthy study habits.  

If you are stressed from school, try:  

  • Making a schedule  
  • Allocating your time 
  • Taking breaks while studying  
  • Getting a study buddy 
  • Getting resources 
  • Starting early 
  • Getting adequate rest 

If you need help understanding class material, set up an appointment with Tutoring Services. 

Although Adderall is commonly used for people with ADHD and narcolepsy, it is not meant to be used by someone who doesn’t have one of these disorders. Adderall use needs to be controlled and prescribed by a doctor.  It may seem as though Adderall is harmless and will help you study or stay focused but taking it without doctor approval or regulation can result in a range of negative side effects. 


If would like to talk to someone or would like support, set up an appointment with WSU Counseling Services or Health and Wellness Services. Both Counseling and Health & Wellness Services follow HIPPA confidentiality rights.