A Synthetic Edge

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Students abuse Adderall around finals

By Mike Abell


 

mabell@jccc.edu

 
Habits for retaining information can vary from one student to another, but it depends on what they find to be the most effective. However, some students will turn to non-prescribed pharmaceutical stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin in order to retain in­formation better or perform on better on tests.

Selling such drugs is illegal not only on campus, but anywhere. Some would ar­gue that using these stimulants is a form of cheating. Charles Andrews, adjunct pro­fessor of science said that while drugs like Ritalin and Adderall can increase work productivity,but they’re not a substitution for studying.

Charles Andrews, adjunct professor of science said that while drugs like Ritalin and Adderall can increase work productiv­ity, they’re not a substitution for studying.

“Pharmaceuticals cannot replace consis­tent and constant preparation and study. Application and synthesis of knowledge in life comes through experiences and learning outcomes; drug therapies will not magically develop problem-solving skill,.” he said.

While the idea of taking a pill to help fo­cus may seem harmless, there are a number of side effects that can happen. Andrews also mentioned that it can be dangerous to consume stimulants with caffeinated drinks.
“Both are central nervous system stimu­lants with some sympathomimetic activity.

Fatigue and depression often follow central nervous stimulation. Common side effects include hyperactivity, insomnia, restlessness, tremor, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, tachycardia, and loss of appetite,” he said.” Both may be addictive and result in dependence. They should defi­nitely be avoided in those with a history of addiction.”

“Selling such drugs is illegal not only on campus, but anywhere.”

Student Jake Houston, whose name has been changed, will regularly sell his 30-mg Adderall to a few of his friends, especially around the time of finals. Houston, now 19, was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Defi­cit Hyperactivity Disorder) in the 4th grade. He started illegally selling his prescribed medication during his junior year in high school.

“The first time [I sold it] was when one of my friends, they asked if I was interested in selling. It started to pick up when she told a couple of her friends,” said Houston.

Counselor Jill Konen works directly with some students who battle with addictions. She has heard a number or stories on how some students become addicted to drugs like Adderall and Ritalin.

“You might think of them as crutch to get things done, especially in college. In college there is a lot of tests, finals and things like that and they’re very stressful. You might be juggling work and school, especially here at Johnson County because people are work­ing a lot,” she said.

Additionally, she said that she doesn’t think using drugs like Adderall or Ritalin on a test as cheating.

“I don’t really think it would be [con­sidered as cheating]. But it’s just really unhealthy and a bad coping mechanism,” she said. “That’s a good question though because with athletes we say that it’s cheat­ing.”

For people who are facing addictions of any kind, Konen said that there are resourc­es available on campus. In addition, there are resources on campus that help students with time management and studying.

“It’s important for students to know about the resources on campus before they hopefully feel like they need to go to this type of drug for succeeding. Unfortunately, if they do start taking it and they don’t know how to stop, come see a counselor. We can help with that kind of thing here.”

Drug facts:

  • The number of adults with prescribed ADHD medications tripled between 2007 and 2012
  • College students who use non-prescribed stimulants are five times more likely to use non-prescribed pain killers
  • More than 50 % of college students who reported using Adderall also admitted that they were heavy drinkers
  • 18-22 year-old college students are twice as likely to abuse Adderall compared to 18-22 year-old non-college students

 

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