Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The Dark Side of Final Exams: Adderall Abuse

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wake Forest chapter.


It’s no secret Adderall is deemed as the “miracle” study drug. As we enter finals week and the realization that our bodies need to be bikini ready for post-exams sets in, hitting up a friend who we know is prescribed can be a little tempting, right?

I’m not here to preach ethics to you. Yes, taking non-prescribed pills is illegal, and if you do get caught with someone else’s prescription bottle or caught selling your own meds, that’s a felony. Unfortunately, I’m not sure those things ‘scare’ away too many abusers; however, there are some very important things I want everyone to think about before resorting to ‘drastic measures.’

Let me first start off by saying that if you don’t have A.D.H.D., you can’t possibly expect these drugs to have the exact same effects as they would for someone who does have it. There is nothing wrong with the neurotransmitter receptors in your prefrontal cortex; therefore, this drug is going to throw everything that functions perfectly fine, a little out of whack.

So here are some possible alternatives to what might happen:

1. You were planning on doing work for six hours, but the Adderall makes you so happy and so chatty that you spend those six hours talking incessantly to every single person you know in the ZSR. You also are texting/tweeting/writing on people’s Facebook walls, because you are just so happy and the world is just so wonderful and you just want to share all this love with everyone. Doesn’t sound too productive, right?

2. You were going to go to the ZSR, but you started cleaning your apartment. Six hours pass and every speck of dirt and 100% of all germs are gone from your apartment and it’s the cleanest it’s ever been, but you didn’t manage to make it out of your apartment to study. Oops.


3. You have to read and take notes on all the book chapters that you didn’t read when you were supposed to, so you’ve got to do it all now. However, you get so detail-oriented that you end up basically taking notes on every single word in one chapter because details just got so important. You have ten pages of notes for one chapter, but never got to any of the others…again, I say, oops.

4. You get tunnel vision for working. You stop talking to everyone and become robotic. You’re spitting out work like a champ, but the medicine also makes you really irritable and aggressive so you start snapping at all of your friends and intimidating that girl across the table from you in the atrium, and nobody ever wants to study or work with you in the ZSR ever again…

5. Adderall is not a diet-pill. Yes you won’t be hungry, but when it wears off you’re going to want to devour a village. Not exactly sticking to your pre-post exams diet, are you? Just because Adderall makes it so that you can’t feel that you’re hungry, that doesn’t mean your body isn’t hungry…especially when it’s working double the speed and intensity compared to normally.

6. Lastly, if you have a little bit of anxiety, and take Adderall, and are a huge coffee drinker, then you may or may not have a panic attack. And not sleep the entire night. Not sleeping, as we all know, is definitely not going to benefit your study habits. 

Like I said, these are only a few of the many possible adverse reactions you could experience.

So, do you still think that Adderall is the miracle drug? Do you still think it’s going to solve all your problems for finals week…or is there a possibility it could create more problems? Do you find yourself thinking that maybe you don’t need to take it since there isn’t anything wrong with your brain in the first place?

These are questions we all need to consider as we enter finals week. Be smart, collegiettes, do your best on your exams and rise above the influence! We Wake Forest collegiettes can obviously perform well without unneeded extra help—or we wouldn’t be here today.

A Communications major and Journalism minor from New Jersey, Ellie has been writing for HerCampus for almost 3 years now. Known for her sassy personality and sunny outlook on life, Ellie prides herself on her confidence and composure- especially when it comes to how she writes! Ellie is the oldest of four girls, and in her free time loves a good book, the beach, and coffee of any variety. An active writer and blogger, Ellie is so pleased to have taken over the role of Editorial Campus Correspondent for HC-WakeForest, and looks forward to another year of lots of HCLove.