New interactive simulation helps campuses address the “study drug” epidemic

Prescription drug misuse is a problem college campuses around the country face. Misuse of stimulants like Adderall has increased dramatically over recent years because of students’ misconceptions or simple lack of knowledge of associated risks. This “study drug”, when misused, poses risks to students and universities. Kognito’s newest online experiential learning simulation, Prescription Drugs, aims to help campuses inform students and equip them with skills to help them better navigate challenging conversations about prescription drugs.

The prevalence and ramifications of prescription drug misuse

Young adults aged 18 to 25 years misuse prescription drugs more than any other age-group. Research shows that college students who misuse prescription stimulant drugs or nootropics like Adderall or Ritalin are also likely to drink heavily and use other drugs.

Substance misuse, both alcohol and other drugs, is a primary barrier to student success and academic achievement. It is a root cause of many other related challenges like mental health issues, negative socialization patterns, violence, and injury.

Why higher education institutions are taking action

Higher education institutions are taking measures to address prescription drug misuse and support their students’ well-being. These measures not only strive to help set students up for success, but may also help improve the institutions’ reputations and keep them out of legal trouble.

Recent case law has established that campus officials must take reasonable protective measures to guard against foreseeable hazards and risks in the campus environment. Years of litigation over the concept of “reasonable care” in higher education law have shown that the courts will typically protect an institution that shows good faith by seeking to apply evidence-based prevention.

Prescription Drugs Simulation bolsters campus prevention efforts

Our new Prescription Drugs Simulation helps students prepare to make healthy decisions that support themselves and their peers.

Unlike traditional online learning, our simulations provide an experiential learning experience enabling students to practice skills, transforming knowledge into real-world scenarios.

In this 30-minute online simulation, students learn to:

  • Assess misconceptions and the role of peer influence in misuse: One in four teenagers believe that prescription drugs can be used as a study aid even if the student does not have ADHD.
  • Apply refusal skills: Learners practice refusal skills against diversion and peer pressure, framed around positive relationships and helping a friend.
  • Review safe medication use, storage and disposal: Two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers or stimulants in the past year say that they got them from family and friends. Eliminating diversion, teaching proper use, safe storage and disposal of medications diminish opportunities for misuse.
  • Discuss help-seeking, and helping a friend: Understand signs of addiction and misuse, learn about available resources for support, and review communication strategies to reach out to a friend you are concerned about.

The program uses evidence-based techniques and was developed by public health prevention specialists, campus wellness professionals, and real students.

Learn more and request a demo

Interested in learning how online role-play conversations can help support your campus prevention efforts? Learn more about the Prescription Drugs Simulation and the entire Kognito Higher Education portfolio at Or better yet, test drive it via demo to experience the power of simulation firsthand.

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