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Drugs and Alcohol

Stress, Finals, and Adderall

By December 12, 2022No Comments

College is stressful. This stress is at its peak for students during finals week.

As the end of the semester comes rolling in, with it comes the many tests, papers, and assignments required to complete the course. This added pressure causes many students to break from their normal routines, often pulling “all-nighters” in order to get their work done before the deadline.

Many students procrastinate their work until the last minute, which results in them needing to stay up all night in order to finish, or sometimes even to start their assignments. Some students use caffeine in order to stay awake, but that doesn’t solve their problem of not being able to focus. Because of the need to complete their work during their all-nighters, students take Adderall in order to increase productivity and focus.

But is Adderall safe to use for this purpose? What happens if you do? From our college defense attorneys at DC Student Defense, here’s what you need to know.

Adderall Abuse at Colleges and Universities

Adderall is a drug that is prescribed to those who suffer from ADHD. Adderall abuse is very common among college students in the United States. It is in fact more common among college-aged individuals than non-college-aged individuals. 

Research shows that those who have a prescription for the drug are not the ones abusing it, but they actually are using it as recommended by their doctor.

However, with more and more people getting diagnosed with ADHD, and therefore prescribed Adderall, the drug has become more easily accessible to those without ADHD. Many college students know someone that has a prescription, sometimes even someone whom they live with. It is those who have access to Adderall and take it without having been diagnosed with ADHD who are sometimes found abusing the drug.

When Do College Students Abuse Adderall?

Adderall is most commonly abused during finals week.

But many students do not realize that this drug can be dangerous for those who abuse it. For one thing, those without ADHD may not be aware of what the true purpose of Adderall is, its chemical properties, or how it may affect them. Those with limited knowledge of the drug assume that it will be an easy fix for their inability to study and complete school work.

However, Adderall comes with side effects just like any drug and those effects may take different forms in different people.

If you are someone with a prescription of Adderall, you should be careful not to fall into the pressure of abusing the drug or sharing it with anyone. It is illegal to distribute prescription medication to individuals other than to who it is prescribed.

So if you find yourself in a situation where someone you know asks you to have some of their Adderall you should tell them no, and recommend that they see a doctor to discuss the problems they may have that are preventing them from being able to focus and complete tasks. 

Bottom Line: never share or sell your medication — the costs outweigh the benefits.

Struggling Under the Pressure of Finals Week? Here’s What to Do Instead

If you are someone who is struggling under the pressure of finals week and finds yourself being tempted by taking Adderall without a prescription, read these tips to help you survive finals week:

  1. There are many other substances other than Adderall that help increase focus naturally, such as blueberries, avocados, broccoli, celery, salmon, dark chocolate, oatmeal, green tea, spinach, eggs, and bananas.
  2. Prioritize. Take your assignments one at a time, in order of how long you expect to need to work on them and how soon the due date is scheduled. Time management skills take practice, but it’s all about what works best for you.
  3. Don’t forget to sleep! Sleep deprivation can lead to increased stress and an inability to focus.
  4. Set daily tasks for yourself so the workload doesn’t get too overwhelming. This will also force you to think about your assignments so that procrastination is not an option.
  5. Reward yourself with a job well done. If you just finished a paper or took an exam, don’t forget to give yourself a little time to recover and reboot.

Contact DC Student Defense Today

If you are facing accusations of sharing your Adderall or taking Adderall during exams, you’ll need a dedicated student defense attorney on your side to fight the charges. Contact our team at DC Student Defense today.

Disclaimer: These materials have been prepared by DC Student Defense for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.


These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

Shan Wu

Author Shan Wu

Shan’s professional and personal background gives him a unique understanding of academic institutions and the criminal justice system. A former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., he is at home in D.C. Courts and very familiar with all of the Washington, D.C. law enforcement agencies, especially the Metropolitan Police Department. His parents were university professors so he grew up in a university environment. He understands the mindset of academic institutions. As a prosecutor, he supervised in the misdemeanor crime section. This is the section of the Washington, D.C. prosecutor’s office that handles most college student cases. His understanding of charging decisions and how judges view these cases is invaluable to his student clients and their families. Shan served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for over ten years. During his tenure there, now Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. appointed him to supervisory positions in the Misdemeanor Trial Section and also in a police corruption task force. His outstanding legal work in the government was recognized through numerous Special Achievement Awards from the Justice Department as well as awards conveyed by law enforcement agencies and community groups. From 1999-2000, Shan served as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, advising her on criminal and civil investigations, E-Gov, E-Commerce (electronic signatures, internet gambling, internet telephony, privacy & public access issues in electronic court filings), congressional oversight, and legislative review. His responsibilities included serving as liaison to the FBI, DEA, Criminal Division, Executive Office of United States Attorneys, National Institute of Justice, and White House Counsel’s Office. Shan serves on the D.C. Bar Association’s Hearing Committee of the Board on Professional Responsibility and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association for the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a 1988 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated Order of the Barristers, edited two law reviews, and was Co-Director of the Moot Court Program. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Following law school, he clerked for the late Hon. Jerry Buchmeyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and the late Eugene Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Connecticut.

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