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Surviving college life could lead to criminal charges

Today's college students are no different from those who went before them. They still experience similar stresses regarding academic performance, social engagement and integration, and more.

Even though alcohol has been a part of college life for decades, so-called "study drugs" have come into the mix as well. Students are now using medications ordinarily prescribed for people with conditions such as attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without a prescription. If your son or daughter ends up using them as well, the odds of facing criminal charges increase.

How are college students using study drugs and alcohol? 

With exams being the primary concern of most students, they use study drugs in order to stay awake and alert. Many students also believe the drugs sharpen their minds, which could supposedly give them an edge when it comes to getting a better grade.

With all of this stress behind them, they then have a few drinks to relax. In fact, estimates put six out of every 10 students using alcohol in this way. Instead of the aim being socializing, alcohol serves as a coping mechanism. It probably doesn't take you much to realize this is an alarming shift.

The potential for addiction and adverse effects rises dramatically

Both alcohol and study drugs could result in your child suffering from one or more addictions. While there are physical and mental issues with the abuse of alcohol, the ones that come with non-prescribed medications such as Adderall, Ritalin, Focalin and Vyvanse could cause significant mental and physical damage. They could also have the opposite effect by adding to your child's stress due to side effects such as insomnia.

Yet another adverse effect your child could experience is criminal charges. Possession of medications not prescribed to your son or daughter is a crime. If your child is underage, alcohol use could also lead to charges. If that happens, jail time and fines could follow if convicted. What your child probably needs more is help – help dealing with stress and help dealing with addiction.

Help is available

Making mistakes is a part of life, and your child should not have his or her mistakes derail an otherwise promising future. Consulting with a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney could help ensure your child receives the best outcome possible to any charges, and perhaps gets the help he or she needs to get back on track.

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