Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stress May Lead Students To Use Stimulants

Date:
April 11, 2008
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
The performance pressures from end-of-semester exams and papers can take a toll on students, even leading them to turn to potentially harmful substances to keep them awake and alert. Recent studies show that a growing number of high school and college students are turning to stimulants like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) drugs and energy drinks to help them through their stress -- particularly during exam time, says an adolescent medicine specialist.

Five to 35 percent of college students are misusing stimulants around stressful times with academics.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan Health System

A growing number of high school and college students are turning to stimulants like ADHD drugs and energy drinks to help them through their stress — particularly during exam time. University of Michigan experts say that misuse of stimulants can lead to serious health consequences, and encourage parents to take steps toward preventing their children from overusing stimulants.

Jennifer Christner, M.D., an adolescent medicine specialist at the University of Michigan Health System, says misuse of stimulants can lead to depression, irritability, stomachaches and headaches. Serious abuse of these drugs can lead to very dangerous side effects, including hypertension and stroke.

The performance pressures from end-of-semester exams and papers can take a toll on students, even leading them to turn to potentially harmful substances to keep them awake and alert.

Recent studies show that a growing number of high school and college students are turning to stimulants like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) drugs and energy drinks to help them through their stress — particularly during exam time, says Jennifer Christner, M.D., an adolescent medicine specialist at the University of Michigan Health System.

“Studies have shown that anywhere from 5 to 35 percent of college students are misusing stimulants around stressful times with academics. There is also some evidence that high school students — anywhere from 8 to 10 percent — can misuse stimulants during these times,” she says.

Approximately 25 percent of high school and grade school children have been approached by friends to use their medication, Christner notes. This causes children to be more susceptible to misusing medications that are not prescribed to them, a decision that can be damaging to their health.

“It is never a good idea to use anyone else’s medication, whether it is a prescribed medication or over-the-counter,” she says. “Of course, if you have ADHD, then use your stimulant on a regular basis and not just when you really need it at crunch-time.”

Misuse of stimulants can lead to depression, irritability, stomachaches and headaches. Serious misuse or abuse of these drugs can lead to very serious side effects, including hypertension and stroke.

The growing popularity of energy drinks can also be harmful to a child’s health, Christner adds.

“There is harm when someone is taking more than one or two of these drinks a day,” she says. “The caffeine can lead to jitteriness, anxiety, increased heart rate and the more serious side effects of high blood pressure, hyperthermia and stroke.”

While Christner notes that drinking one energy drink during a demanding time is usually acceptable, there are ways that a person can maintain energy levels and avoid stimulants altogether. To help ease academic anxiety, she recommends that students do their work steadily, as opposed to saving it all for the last minute. She also suggests keeping up with regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting proper rest.

Concerned parents can also take steps toward preventing their children from overusing stimulants, Christner says. Parents can role play with their children and ask them what they would say and do if they were offered medications from their friends. Parents can also be conscientious during the time of their college-aged children’s exams simply by calling and asking if their son or daughter is doing okay.

Christner also advises family members to look out depression, irritability and other warning signs of stimulant abuse.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Stress May Lead Students To Use Stimulants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407195349.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2008, April 11). Stress May Lead Students To Use Stimulants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407195349.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Stress May Lead Students To Use Stimulants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407195349.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins