Law Students

The Dangers of Law School
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Summary: Law school students are willing to sacrifice a lot in pursuit of their dreams of being attorneys but some of those sacrifices are dangerous.

Nearly all law students admit to indulging in Adderall whether with a prescription or not. Referred to as “a law student’s steroid,” this drug helps student focus and think clearly without the need for mental breaks.


Law school is an intense period that will make it or break it students. The class loads are rigorous and the exams grueling so students are turning to whatever they can to make it through especially when they believe that everyone else is doing it too. Associate academic dean for student life at Texas Tech University College of Law John Delony said, “It’s become so normed.”

Read Mental Health Alliance Formed by Yale Law Students.

Students turn to family, friends, and friends of friends to gain access to the drug in what is an ironic situation where they are break the law in order to become attorneys. The students see Adderall as a harmless drug but mental health professionals and educators know that an addiction can be formed which will affect their health and future.

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Survey “Suffering in Silence: The Survey of Law Student Well-Being” asked 3,400 law students about their drug usage and found that 14 percent have taken a prescribed drug without a prescription in the past year. However, the survey authors feel that the number is undoubtedly higher. They feel that students are hiding the truth in order to avoid jeopardizing their education or admittance into the bar. The reasons the students take the drug are to enhance academic performance, increase alertness, study longer, and concentrate better.

See Yale Law School Releases Report on Students’ Mental Health.

Law schools claim to be drug-free zones but do very little to take on the issue of drug use among students. The survey findings suggest that law schools are in denial and do not want to admit there is a problem on their campus. Proving that a student has taken the drug is nearly impossible and would require time and money that law schools just don’t want to put out.

The only way schools have been able to successfully address the problem is through “soft messaging.” The University of Miami School of Law holds mindfulness programs like seminars, for-credit classes, student activities, and guest speakers to explain the do’s and don’ts of keeping healthy work-life habits.

Adderall is prescribed for those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The drug is a mix of amphetamine salts. Long-term health effects are unknown but there are serious cardiovascular side effects like stroke and high blood pressure. Adderall also increases the risk of mental health problems like depression, bipolar disorder, and other behaviors that tend to be aggressive or hostile.

Do you think Adderall is a problem in law schools? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the stresses of law school, read Bowen School of Law Embraces Therapy Animals for Relieving Stress.



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