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Legal Consequences of Selling 'Study Drugs' Like Adderall and Ritalin

While it rarely comes as a surprise to learn that college students experiment with drugs, some might be surprised to learn that many of these experimenting students are experimenting with drugs to help them actually study. Certain drugs, like Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse are commonly referred to as “study drugs” as these help individuals focus and stay focused.

What may even be more shocking is that as a result of the popularity of the study drugs, students that have prescriptions for these medications can expect to be asked to share or sell their medication by friends and other students seeking a boost in their focus. However, under the law, selling Adderall, Ritalin, or Vyvanse can be treated just like selling cocaine or meth.

Is Selling “Study Drugs” Really as Bad as Cocaine?

Legally, yes — that is, depending on your state’s drug laws. These prescription medications are classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the federal government, which is the same class that both cocaine and meth fall under. Most state laws follow the government scheduling classifications when it comes to criminal penalties, which can be rather harsh.

This means that simple possession by someone without a prescription could potentially result in criminal penalties including fines, and potentially jail. A conviction for selling any of these “study drugs” will be punished much more harshly than possession, and is more than likely to include a jail sentence that could range from months to years. Additionally, many states, like California, punish criminal offenses that occur on college and school campuses more harshly. So the $5,000 fine and 5 years in jail a Californian would normally be facing for a first offense selling a small quantity, could actually end up being $10,000 and 10 years.

It Gets Worse

While a $10,000 fine and 10 years of your life for selling a $3 - $15 pill is nowhere near a justifiable risk, those are not the only consequences a person selling “study drugs” needs to be concerned about. Federal student aid, including loans, can be denied after a person is convicted on a drug charge. That means that even if you accept a plea deal that could keep you out of jail, if you plead guilty to any drug charge, even just possession, you could lose your federal student aid.

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