Adderall: Worst Enemy or Best Friend?

Students rely on study aid stimulants to survive during the week of finals.

Pressure is one problem students face during highly stressful and hectic semesters. Students need to do well on exams to pass a class and others need to obtain a set GPA to stay on a sporting team or in a specific major.The pressure being poured on students by parents, family, or oneself leaves individuals to falsely believe he/she is trapped with only one way to survive the week: Adderall.

Prescribed to treat people with Attention Deficit Disorder, Adderall is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Class II controlled substance.Class II substances are prescribed drugs with the potential to be highly addictive and abusive.These drugs have strict rules: only hard copy prescriptions allowed, meaning the prescription cannot be called in or faxed to a pharmacy, and only 30 days worth of pills can be administered in a bottle at a time with no refills.In addition to Adderall, other drugs that are categorized as Class II substances are Cocaine, Morphine and OxyContin.

For college students who are preparing for numerous finals and other projects, taking a 10 mg pill of Adderall can solve all their problems for the next ten hours.It keeps individuals alert, focused and awake while decreasing the amount of time spent being distracted.Many student’s reasoning for taking the drug is so they can pull all-nighters during an intense week of finals.

Years ago, a person had to see a psychiatrist who administered various kinds of tests to determine if a person had an Attention Deficit Disorder and furtermore, what proper medications were needed to be prescribed. Today, people can easily walk into their family doctor’s office complaining about problems focusing in school and walk out five minutes later with a prescription for Adderall.

If this prescription drug claims to help so many students maintain better grades, then why are doctors starting to turn their heads away from it?Reported by the FDA MedWatch program, Adderall has been related to over 186 deaths.The drug is termed an amphetamine, which are groups of drugs that act by increasing levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine in the brain, raising heart rate and blood pressure.

As stated previously how abusive and addictive these Class II drugs are, students who become dependent on the drug can face psychological and physical consequences ranging from depression, loss of appetite, nausea, anxiety, stroke, heart attack and insomnia.Long-term effects from excessive Adderall consumption include stunted growth, psychotic episodes, heart complications and severe mental and physical addiction.

According to Pharmacotherapy, a pharmacology and drug therapy journal, between eight and twenty percent of college student’s use a prescription drug stimulant as a studying aid and over twenty percent said to use the drug illegally without a prescription.Not only is having possession of Adderall without a prescription a felony, but selling Adderall whether or not you personally have a prescription for it, is also a felony.

Students will exchange their usual weekend money for beer to buy however many pills are needed to last the week.The pills range from 5mg to 30mg and can be sold for a measly two dollars each.Most dealers will bargain with deals such as two pills for five dollars or four pills for ten dollars.

Since the ability to find Adderall is becoming just as easy as finding over-the-counter Tylenol, more students are likely to give in and use the drug.What these students who are legally or illegally using the drug do not understand are the consequences they can face.

During finals week, students will take excessive amounts of Adderall to finish their final projects, presentations and papers while solely living off of water.With the decreased appetite and lack of sleep from taking the drug, students are more likely to crash and burn leading to a negative effect on a student’s academic performance.Before a big exam, students should get a solid eight hours of sleep, eat something light for energy and relax; all key components that Adderall alters.

Students studying for finals that are on Adderall will go days without eating or sleeping.
Students studying for finals on Adderall will go days without eating or sleeping.

Considering after thirty days only 20 percent of information can be retained from the brain, continually studying a subject over a range of time will not only help memorize information but also store it successfully in the brain.Rather than cramming days before finals week causing stress, insomnia and anxiety, students need to maintain and organize their time spent studying the previous weeks before finals.

When the late nights get too be much, students see only one solution without realizing how potentially harmful this potent drug can be. More simple and safe alternatives to staying focused and alert with similar effects as Adderall are energy drinks and caffeine.Regardless that in the end students are going to do whatever they feel helps them the best to study, the dangers of Adderall need to be well known across college campuses nationwide.

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