‘Study Drugs’ Set the Stage for Other Drug Use and Mental Health Decline

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.

Taking “study drugs” like Adderall without a diagnosis is not only dangerous in itself, but can lead to other drug use and a decline in mental health, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications are frequently used illicitly by college students as a study aid, but it’s unknown what psychoactive substances are likely to be abused along with these drugs.

To explore this issue, a team of Binghamton researchers led by Associate Professor of Health and Wellness Studies Lina Begdache, conducted a study of 702 undergraduate college students from across the U.S., asking about the most commonly used drugs used by students — including ADHD medications, cannabis, nicotine, alcohol, MDMA, and ecstasy — as well as questions on academic performance and physical and mental distress.

The researchers found several associations indicating that using one substance may lead to using others — as if the brain becomes primed for further substance use.

“Substance use promotes the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for the initial euphoria and feelings of pleasure. These sensations act as a positive reinforcement for further substance use,” said Begdache.

Source: ScienceDaily

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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