Attention-deficit disorder drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin are gaining popularity on college campuses as an easy way for students to knuckle down, NPR reports. The drugs offer a “perfect kind of transition into a study mentality,” says one student, and can make work more pleasurable. But they’re “serious drugs with serious side effects,” like chronic insomnia and heart problems, cautions one researcher.
The drugs are amphetamine-based, so they also have addictive qualities. “The more you use it, the more you want to use more of it,” says another student. It doesn’t help that the pills are easily obtained—usually for about $5 a pop practically anywhere on campus, largely from kids with ADD prescriptions. One survey says up to 25% of college students have used the “smart” drugs in the past year.