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Illegal study drugs teach a hard lesson

Your child worked hard in high school and accomplished things beyond your imaginings. With many options open, to your relief, your child chose nearby Strayer University or University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Maybe he or she won admission only a little further away to Duke. The future looks bright, and you have every confidence in what your child can achieve.

However, you are not naïve, and it is quite possible that your studious and responsible child will take advantage of the newfound freedom of college life and experiment with drugs or alcohol. It is common in the university environment, but you have legitimate concerns about how such behaviors will impact his or her future. However, beer and marijuana may not be the riskiest substances available to your ambitious student.

What are study drugs?

If your child suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, your doctor may have prescribed Ritalin, Adderall or Vyvanse to help suppress the symptoms and allow your child to focus on his or her school work. You may have been amazed at the difference in your child when he or she was taking the medication regularly. In fact, one of these drugs may have contributed to your child's ability to succeed and gain entrance into a good college or university.

However, more frequently, college students use these drugs to help them study. Just like they helped your child, ADHD drugs can help focus someone who needs to stay up late and study for an exam or complete a lab assignment. If your child still has a prescription to his ADHD medication, there is a good possibility that he or she will be enticed to share.

What are the consequences?

By federal law, Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse are Schedule II controlled substances. This means that they fall into the same category as cocaine and methamphetamine in the eyes of the law. If police learn that your child is selling pills to fellow students, your child may face the following penalties if convicted:

  • Several months to 10 years in jail
  • Fines reaching tens of thousands of dollars
  • Potential for enhanced sentence for selling drugs in a Drug Free Zone
  • A felony criminal record
  • Loss of federal student loans or other aid
  • Expulsion from college

Even if your child does not have a prescription for one of these ADHD drugs, there is still potential for trouble if he or she procures the pills without a prescription. Convictions for possessing Schedule II substances carry their own harsh penalties, possibly including jail time and fines.

Your child has worked too hard to get to this point in life to throw it all away with a conviction for drug dealing or possession. You may look for opportunities to discourage your child from such risky behavior, and know that you have resources available if your child faces accusations of this kind.

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