Adderall Abuse and College Students
As students ourselves, we all know how stressful college life can be, especially when we have that little bit of extra work to do before tomorrow. So, as students, we obviously work to find the most efficient way to get our work done. For some, that means going straight to the library for a quiet solitude study session, for others it means heading right back to lock yourself in your dorm for what seems like the rest of time. Most of us see Adderall as a prescription drug that some people just need to function in today’s world; however, a staggering number of students in college take this drug in random doses without prescription. In 2012, a K-State alcohol and drug education survey found that 12 percent of the students in the survey used this drug unprescribed. That number is up from just one percent six years earlier. This study can be found here.
Adderall is a highly addictive drug that could cause serious harm to the mental functions of the abuser, when prescribed however, it can actually be helpful to someone. After long hours of research on the topic, it is apparent that the problem of using adderall unprescribed is way bigger than I had even thought of. Out of the 31% of college students that take some form of ADHD medication, only 5.3% of them are actually prescribed. After seeing these results I wanted to find for myself just how accurate this study is, specifically for students at Penn State, so I interviewed 15 people, 10 males, and 5 females, out of those 3 of the females associated closely with each other, and 7 of the males do. I went out of my way to find random students to ask if they were prescribed vs. if they have used adderall this semester, or intend to use adderall for finals. These are my results:
Out of the 15 people I surveyed, only 2 were prescribed adderall (13%), 9 admitted to using some form of ADHD drug during the semester (60%), 11 admitted they had thought about, or had intentions to take a drug to help them study in the future (73.3%), and one person said maybe (6.7%). While these numbers did not totally match up with the larger survey mentioned above, these results were more surprising than just reading the survey. Conducting my own survey really hit home on the topic because most of those surveyed are people I know and wouldn’t have previously expected to take stimulants.
In my opinion, study drugs give the abuser an unfair advantage on the rest of us, and especially in a class graded on a curve, one could imagine how that really puts a damper on a non users grades. that brings up the idea of these drugs being included in academic dishonesty and more. What do you think? Is this a problem that needs to be dealt with more severely and more carefully, or should we just keep up how we are going and continue to let people abuse these drugs to gain that slight advantage?