(Me)- If a person decides to go to college, it can be a very hectic time in life. Students are forced to balance schoolwork, work, friends, fun and many other things involved with college life. For many students it seems like there isn’t enough time in a day to fit everything in. Most students cope with the lack of time by staying up late to cram for school. But with a lack of energy already, students are forced to use stimulants to stay up. Some students chug energy drinks and coffee while other students have found another way to stay up all night. It’s called Adderall and it has flooded college campuses. According to the United Health Center of Wisconsin, Adderall is a Schedule 2 narcotic prescribed to treat ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The feeling you get from taking Adderall is a lesser intense high that the illegal drug cocaine provides. Adderall has become a danger on college campus’, not only because of the negative side effects that can occur while taking it, but also because of how common it is shared amongst college students. According to a New York Times survey, as many as 20 percent of college students have used Adderall. But why do students choose to use Adderall?
Jenn Boaz 1- Clinical Health Educator- The biggest thing that I hear from students that come in and I’m talking with.. They say that they’re using it to help them to study.. That they maybe procrastinated and they know that if they take it then they’ll be able to kind of pull an all nighter to be able to finish a paper or a project… get some extra studying in. I’d say that’s the biggest reason I hear. I don’t hear of too many of the students I talk to using it for recreational purposes but I know that it is something that does happen.
(Me)- That was Jenn Boaz. She is a Clinical Health Educator at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and she is exactly right on the reasons why students take Adderall. I managed to connect with two Whitewater students who currently take Adderall. One student is prescribed and the other one isn’t. Both students have different ways of obtaining the drug, but use it for very similar reasons. Both students have requested to have their names remain unanimous.
Un-Prescribed 1- Personally I only use it, id say as funny as it sounds, as a need be basis. I would use it for when I have a, say, higher than a usual workload as to schoolwork or outside work as my job or what not. Other than that, I would say definitely a recreational part does come in play when say going to the bars or parties or a longer night to that instant.
James (Me)- That was the student who isn’t prescribed Adderall. You might think that this student’s reasons for taking the drug may be outlandish but the prescribed student was no different.
Prescribed Student 1- I use Adderall usually for studying and pretty much all the time on the weekend when I drink.
(Me)- After interviewing both students I was interested on how easy it is to get Adderall on campus. According to a study done by the Royal Purple, Out of 236 students who admitted to using Adderall, 83 percent of the students obtained the drug through a friend or someone they knew on campus. Not through a prescription. I stopped into the Campus Police Station to talk to Police Chief Matt Kierderien. I asked Chief Kierderien why he believes so many students abuse this prescribed drug.
Chief Matt Kierderien 1- I believe that there is a false notion that since it’s a prescription drug, it’s not as dangerous, that its helpful in different scenarios and those types of things. The unfortunate reality is, like any other drug that you abuse or use inappropriately, there can be unintended side effects that can affect you pretty severely.
(Me)- The false notions Chief Kierderien alluded to are the two main common myths that most students have about Adderall. Most students think Adderall helps them study and will allow them to drink more and stay up longer when partying.
Amanda Crintz- Wellness and Alcohol and other drug Educator at UHCS– There have been no studies that have shown that Adderall actually helps retain information.. It helps you just stay stimulated and stay awake.
(Me)- That was Amanda Crintz who is a wellness, alcohol and other drugs educator here at Whitewater. Amanda also described that using Adderall with alcohol can mask the effects of alcohol on the body until a student has drunken to much.. Resulting in alcohol poisoning. Jenn Boaz described the doctor’s instruction of using Adderall with alcohol as being prohibited and very dangerous.
Jenn Boaz 2- I know that our doctors here with prescribing the medication… so again going back to students that are actually prescribed the medication, they tell them to not be using alcohol in it at all. So obviously there is a danger there and then when you have people using the medication not prescribed to them, they maybe don’t know about all of the different types of side effects that go along with using it.
(Me)- Physical side effects aren’t the only problem a student can face from acquiring Adderall; there are legal consequences too. I was very curious about how scared the student who is un-prescribed to Adderall is to have the drug on him, but I was very surprised by the answer.
Un- Prescribed 2- I’m not gonna lie, its never really on my mind. It never overpowers my mind; it’s more on the backburner. I don’t exactly think about it. I know that there can be legal consequences, pretty extreme even…. Maybe even academic.
(Me)- Chief Kierderien would be the first one to tell you to not obtain Adderall illegally because of the legal problems you may face.
Chief Matt Kierderien- There’s the potential criminal prosecution that takes place, there can be suspension or expulsion from school.. All those types of things can occur. So again, it’s not just a fun recreational thing, or even a study aide. It can be very serious in a long-term effect.
(Me)- According to Wisconsin Law and the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater’s rules, the penalty for possessing Adderall illegally is a misdemeanor charge with a $500 fine. Students can also face up to 30 days in prison, have to pay court fees and could face suspension from the school based on their past behavior. If a student were to get caught selling Adderall it would be a scary situation for him or her. The penalty for manufacturing Adderall is a class H felony that has a fine up to $10,000, and the student would be facing up to six years in prison. Along with all the legal charges, they would immediately be suspended from school and most likely expelled. With all the risk of Adderall brings, why do students still choose to use it? Chief Kierderien personally knows how hard it to crack down on Adderall abuse.
Chief Matt Kierderien 2- I can only think of only one or two occasions where we’ve actually had arrests for Adderall use or inappropriate possession. There are so many people that have the drug prescribed… we run across it a lot but we don’t necessarily run across the abusive aspect that often.
(Me)- Although it is easy to obtain Adderall and very hard to get caught, students should restrain from using Adderall if they do not have a prescription or have not talked to a doctor about their personal health risks of taking Adderall. According to drugabuse.com, Adderall’s side effects are insomnia, headaches, possible heart disease, anxiety, hallucinations, depression, mood swings and many more serious effects. Not only that but Adderall is addictive just like other schedule 2 narcotic. So the next time you’re forced to cram for school or to tired to go out and drink, find a healthier and more legal way to go about it. Your body will feel better about it and so will your conscious. For Whitewater News, this is James Sayers signing off in Whitewater.