College, although the best years of people’s lives, can also be one of the most stressful. Balancing homework, classes, a social life, and extra curriculars can be a lot to handle. Students will often pull all-nighters in order to complete the assignments they have to do. Their days are filled with classes and clubs, which results in them staying up at all hours of the night. The average amount of sleep that we are supposed to be getting is seven to nine hours every night. College students are lucky to get five when classes begin to get hard.
In order to stay awake at these times of the night, some students may resort to drugs to help them focus and finish their work. Sometimes, this can be a deadly combination.
College students have died from overusing caffeine and other focus inducing drugs like Adderall. Taking these drugs may seem like a necessity at times, as studying for big exams can get stressful and take long, and this makes students feel like they have to use drugs in order to complete the tremendous amount of work they have.
Caffeine is a more widely accepted and socially used drug. Many people have their morning coffee, or their nightly tea, yet this drug can result in death. “The majority of these incidents are happening to those under the age of 20, which is somewhat alarming,” Caffeineinformer said. According to their data, in people 20 and under, there have been 1,298 reported overdoses from energy drinks and 1,453 from other caffeine sources.
In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Thomas A. Sweeney, M.D., an associate chair at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware said, “What we will see on a fairly regular basis are people who usually are under stress because of college work or regular deadlines at work who drink a lot more caffeinated beverages than they normally do, and they may come in with an accelerated heart rate.” Turning to caffeine to help with work can have negative effects on health.
In an Article from USA Today they reported that “Emergency room visits involving energy drinks increased tenfold between 2005 and 2009, according to a federal report late last year. Half involved the drinks when mixed with alcohol or drugs.” Drinking caffeine alone can cause heart problems, but mixing it with other drugs can become even more deadly.
Another widely used method by college students to focus on their work is Adderall. Adderall seems harmless because it is commonly prescribed by doctors, but in reality, it can become an addiction. It is a stimulant that makes the user feel restless, can cause trouble with sleeping, irritability, and can be dangerous to the heart. Overdosing can cause cardiac arrest, just like with caffeine.
“Adderall is abused mostly by college students and young adults. Estimates are that somewhere between 20-30 percent of college students regularly abuse Adderall,” an article by the Huffington Post stated, “Take your money to a nearby local University. You’ll pay $30 to $40 dollars per pill for a very small amount of Adderall usually sold to you by a student.” Once Adderall is used once, a student can feel like they need it again because it improved their focus and the addictive powers can start to take control.
“You stimulate the heart and cause a rhythm problem, and generally the heart is going to go into ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. The heart will generally just quiver instead of beating,” Sweeney said.
Caffeine and Adderall can potentially be dangerous to college students, especially those that use too much and mix with other drugs. It is a problem that should not be taken lightly as death rates seem to be growing.
I think that it is safe to say, that with all the stress from exams and classes winding down, all college students need this Thanksgiving break.
“Documented Deaths By Caffeine.” Caffeine Informer, www.caffeineinformer.com/a-real-life-death-by-caffeine.