No matter the course of study your child is taking at the University of Maryland, it is normal for any college student to feel the stress that comes with college. Reading assignments, projects, lab work, papers and exams consume an enormous number of hours in addition to class time and practicums. You may worry about your child's ability to keep up on minimal sleep and a diet of junk food and caffeine. However, there may be something more sinister to worry about.
A student who has access to prescription medication commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may become very popular on campus. Some college students are also known to use such drugs as study aids. Needless to say, the medications are in high demand.
Popular study drugs
If your child took Adderall, Ritalin or Vyvanse during middle or high school to subdue the symptoms of ADHD, you probably saw a remarkable change in his or her behavior. These medications often help children who have trouble settling down and paying attention to focus so they can succeed during school. Unfortunately, many college students have discovered the same benefits even if they don't have a prescription.
Some students with prescriptions are willing to share or even sell their pills to others on campus, and this is against the law. Since these drugs are amphetamines, federal laws consider Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse and similar prescription drugs in the same category as cocaine and methamphetamine when they determine criminal penalties.
While possessing these drugs without a prescription may result in serious consequences, if your child is convicted of distributing, the penalties have the potential to be harsh and life-altering, including:
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Months or years in prison
- Loss of scholarships
- Disqualification from federal financial aid
- Expulsion from school
- Having a permanent criminal record
Having a criminal record for drug crimes has cost many students opportunities for rewarding careers and financially secure futures.
If you suspect your son or daughter of abusing, sharing or selling a prescription medication as a study drug, you have every right to be concerned. Law enforcement takes drug crimes seriously, especially when they occur on college campuses.