Healthy alternatives to Adderall | The Triangle

Healthy alternatives to Adderall

Week 10 at Drexel brings with it final papers, presentations and finals looming just around the corner. Stress levels are shooting through the roof as students realize just how much work has piled up, and sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s a small comfort to know that most of our peers are feeling similarly, and a mumbled “I can’t, it’s week 10,” is understood across campus. The quarter system, by nature, is fast-paced. Even alumni remember the misery that comes along with the last week of the term. The Editorial Board has noticed that in addition to an already daunting week 10, the stress piles up thanks to procrastination and bittersweet distractions. There seems to be a pretty substantial market for ADHD medications on campus, as students use “study buddy” drugs to help them power through piles of schoolwork and hours of reviewing for exams.

We can’t speak for everyone, but among the Editorial Board, it seems that our attention spans have dwindled. It can be hard to focus for long periods of time, especially when much of our schoolwork is done on the computer. Students are constantly reeled in by social media. Netflix is a student’s best friend and worst enemy. Temptation comes at us from every angle, and students, especially around week 10, are quick to submit. Looking around in lectures, it’s pretty obvious that Drexel students aren’t good at staying focused for an entire class — students are always texting, checking Facebook, tweeting, and pretty much anything that doesn’t include paying attention. Knowing that we spend a lot of time in class not devoting our full attention to the professor won’t help us calm down when finals are getting too close for comfort.
Although picking up a bottle of Adderall from the pharmacy or borrowing a pill from a friend seems tempting, we plead that you drop the pill and rely on your own willpower to get your work done. Not only is taking a pill that is not prescribed to you by a doctor extremely dangerous, but it is also completely unnecessary. Unless you have a medical need to take this drug, there are other focus methods that won’t require you to lean on a little white crutch.

One way to push online distractions away is to deactivate your social networking accounts for a while. If you remove the temptation from your workspace, you will have nothing to distract you. Another focus method that every college student loves is food. There are tons of healthy eats that will help your brain focus. According to, these “brain foods” include leafy greens, whole grains, coffee, and surprisingly, gum. When chewing gum, you are giving your brain something to focus on, making you more alert and less prone to other more destructive distractions.

Another great way to thwart distractions is by exercising. If you’re feeling restless and cramped up at your desk, throw on some running shorts and run on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It is scientifically proven that working out helps increase focus. On the other end of the spectrum is napping. Nothing feels better and helps you zone in on your work than a power nap because nobody can ever get any work done when they’re ready to snooze.

As you can see, there are many healthy and beneficial alternatives to depending on Adderall to focus on studying and assignments. While Adderall may seem like an immediate remedy to your attention problems, there are other places to turn that will help improve your health instead of slowly detracting from it.

We would like to wish everybody good luck with finals week.