According to a report from The Journal of Law and Education’s Chalk Talks, roughly 25% of college students admit to using Adderall without a prescription.
As someone who used to sell his extra Adderall during finals, that number…sounds low. Granted, the fact that I used to sell Adderall probably makes my point of view pretty subjective. When you’re selling it, you don’t really deal with people who aren’t using it to study. Instead, you’re mobbed by the desperate, raving lunatics who are either, 1) Willing to take a life for a 4.0, or 2) Are aggressively lazy and need drugs to overcome their own self-sabotaging habits after putting off an entire semester’s worth of work.
When presented with this estimation by The Daily Campus, Southern Methodist University students seemed to think that the Chalk Talk number is actually high, at least at their university.
SMU students had mixed reactions about the prevalence of Adderall on campus.
Senior engineering major Paul Jujan did not notice students using Adderall too much—at least, not anymore.
“I was an RA so people didn’t show it to me,” Jujan said.
“In fact they didn’t even talk to me. They just stared into their textbooks and notes 16 hours a day for two weeks straight, never stopping to eat. So yeah, I couldn’t really tell if they were on Adderall or not.”
First-year Kendra Peck and her friends, Samantha Waldman and Eva Ravenel, haven’t come across people who misuse Adderall at SMU. They all said that it was wrong if students who weren’t prescribed Adderall used it to help them study for classes.
It’s true. On a moral level, it’s wrong to use stimulants to help you do your work. That would never fly in the professional world these kids are preparing for.
*drinks five cups of coffee throughout the course of the day*
*looks jealously at all his coworkers who are prescribed and currently on Adderall*
*asks for an Adderall from a coworker*
*boss approves because we’re adults and he wants us to do good work, and lots of it*
(Truth be told, I could still have an Adderall prescription if I wanted one, but I hated taking it daily, or “using it properly,” I guess you could say, because the side effects weren’t worth it and made me feel mentally and physically unhealthy. After nearly a decade on ADHD medicines, I can attest that using the Adderall sparingly, such as when needed, or “misusing” it as the Chalk Talk study would suggest, is actually the healthier alternative. It was for me, anyway. Actual misuse in my mind would simply be using it to get high, especially by not taking it properly in pill form. That is something I have never done.)
Senior lecturer Bruce Levy shared that he definitely has had students in his classes that he suspected were misusing Adderall.
“Especially in December and April, those seem to be the main months students use it,” Levy said.
“I can always tell when those darn kids are misusing Adderall. It usually starts a day or two after I drop an impossible mountain of work on them. It’s a damn shame. I just don’t know how to prevent it.”
Obviously, I didn’t go to SMU, and these students know their school far, far better than I do. All of this is really nothing more than reasonable speculation on my part. However, it’s hard to believe a reporter is going to get an answer like, “Oh yeah, I see drugs all the time here! In fact, good sir, I have done them illegally myself,” from someone after telling them that their name and answer about drugs is going to be published online. What a great thing to pop up on a Google search about you!
Furthermore, at a school with both SMU’s academic and economic reputation, I’m guessing 25% is the floor on the percentage of students using ADHD medicine that isn’t prescribed to them. And you know what? That’s fine. There’s a difference between using medicine that isn’t prescribed to you, and using medicine dangerously..
[via The Daily Campus]