Stressed students at the University of York take prescription-only study drugs three times more than those at Oxford and almost twice as more than those at Cambridge, according to a new survey.
The study, by student newspaper York Vision, found that one in five students asked at the Russell Group university had taken substances including Ritalin, Adderall and Modafinil because of pressure and workloads.
But at the University of Cambridge, only 10 per cent admitted to using the drugs, whilst Oxford the figure was even lower, at seven per cent.
The findings also reveal that almost eight in 10 York students would consider taking the drugs prompting concern from the students' union over the health risks associated after some users complained of "jittery heart and legs" and sleeplessness.
Other negative side-effects include loss of appetite which can lead to weight loss and a constant need to go to the toilet.
Although it is a criminal offence to sell prescription-only drugs, some students have admitted to selling them for quick and easy cash.
Welfare Officer George Offer said: "The risks of Modafinil are well documented, and I don’t think I need to repeat them, but I strongly recommend any student currently taking or considering taking any sort of drugs to improve their study carefully look through the information available.
“There’s little to no good empirical work suggesting that these drugs can improve students’ performance in assessments, but they’re fraught with health risks.
“My advice: don’t take prescription drugs without the advice of your doctor, definitely don’t import prescription drugs and, don’t even think about selling them."