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Procrastination medication

UB students use Adderall to cope with college stress

Staff Writer

Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013

Updated: Sunday, April 28, 2013 16:04


Alexa Strudler, The Spectrum

Jeremy Ferris, a senior political science major, washed down an unprescribed 20 milligram extended-release Adderall with a swig of AMP energy drink.

His French 104 exam was the next day, April 12, and hehadn’t started studying yet.

“I don’t need [Adderall] to study,” Ferris said. “I just prefer it.”

With the help of AMP and Adderall, Ferris found he was able to take in a week’s worth of information in one night.

Ferris stayed glued to his computer screen throughout the night. He smoked half a pack of Marlboro 27s and drank three bottles of water. He slept for one hour – a quick nap from 6-7 a.m.

Ferris received a B on the test.

The following day, Ferris felt sluggish and unmotivated. After he finished his daily tasks like attending class and doing homework, he headed home from campus around 4 p.m. and slept through the night.

This method of studying has become increasingly common in college students, according to a study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The survey showed nonmedical use of Adderall in the past year among college students increased from 3 percent to 6.4 percent.

The survey revealed 15 percent of college students have illegally ingested Adderall, Ritalin or another stimulant in the past year.

Additionally, the survey showed 29 percent of students believe addiction is impossible because of Adderall’s prescription status. Thirty-nine percent said it is acceptable to abuse Adderall without contacting a doctor. Out of the students surveyed with prescriptions, 95 percent of those reporting abuse admitted to faking their prescription.

Between 30 and 40 percent of undergraduates reported abusing Adderall and similar stimulants during strenuous times like the weeks of midterms and final exams.

Dan Haeseker, a senior international trade major, will be taking Adderall during finals week.

“If Adderall was a woman, I would marry her,” Haeseker said.

David Dietz and Jun-Xu Li, assistant pharmacology and toxicology professors, said Adderall and associated psycho-stimulants are more dangerous than many college students understand.

Adderall is prescribed to people diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to calm the brain, according to Dietz. He said when abused, the opposite could occur. Taking unprescribed Adderall at a low dosage can increase brain activity and aid in focus, according to Dietz.

He said the adverse effects could be as serious as a psycho-stimulant-induced psychosis indistinguishable from schizophrenia. Dietz noted the highly addictive qualities of the drug.

“Adderall is so much like cocaine,” Li said. “You almost cannot discriminate between the two.”

Despite the negative side effects, students still use Adderall. Some students say getting a few pills is as easy as making a quick stop between classes, according to Ferris and Haeseker.

The two students said the exchange of Adderall occurs all over UB, from the dorms to the hallways and libraries.

Will Kaicher, a senior environmental design major and Ferris’ roommate, said he has never taken Adderall but feels it is abundant at UB.

“I don’t do it myself,” Kaicher said. “But I do know where to get it.”

Many students like Ferris find it’s easier and cheaper to get Adderall illegally than getting a prescription.

Dietz said the prescription process is questionable as a whole because ADD and ADHD are difficult to diagnose. He pointed out a doctor cannot determine psychiatric disorders from drawing a blood sample; therefore, a psychiatric evaluation is necessary for an Adderall prescription.

Ferris’ Adderall provider, who wished to remain anonymous, has a prescriptionand believes he needs the medication to function productively. He said he experiences no adverse side effects.

“It was relatively easy to get,” Ferris’ Adderall source said. “I just had to fill out a survey.”

He said he takes his Adderall pills during the week and doesn’t need them on the weekends to focus on work. He saves his leftover pills from each weekend and sells them throughout the year but mostly during midterm and finals week to make “a quick buck.”

He sells each pill for $5.

On average, Ferris spends approximately $20 per semester on Adderall, mostly during midterms and finals week.

Ferris’ seller believes Adderall successfully treats his ADHD when he uses it as directed. Ferris, however, questions the drug’s associated disorder as a whole and considers Adderall a “booster.” He uses it strictly to propel his studying.

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Mon Apr 29 2013 19:43
I guess this means the Spectrum is in the business of exploiting dumbass college kids who don't understand that employers will search google for their names and see this? All in the name of a dope story.
Mon Apr 29 2013 12:37
^^ I absolutely agree with the poster above me.

Taking adderall to because it "allows [you] to be a terrible students and make up for it in one night" is devaluing the status of everyone's degree...those who manage to earn the same grades as you without stimulation end up with the same gpa and degree as you, with equal options for hiring. Unfair? Definitely. But while I understand it's unfair I do realize it isn't going to's unfair and that's the breaks. The problem, however, is when hiring committees realize that a generic undergrad degree can be obtained by anyone with a drug dealer. And then we move into the crisis we have today: our undergrad degrees are so expensive, yet undervalued. You need a master's to work anywhere with a decent salary. Undergrad is the new high school degree, partly because absolutely everyone can get one, it's no longer a symbol of being intelligent and competent. I know kids at this school who get decent gpas via Adderall who shouldn't have even gotten into UB. Why? Because adderall taken in high school, while taking your SAT, and then while studying and test taking in college, those grades are easy to achieve.

I believe anyone caught with adderall illegally should be prosecuted in a legal and academic sense... it should be just like plagiarism: caught doing it? F on the test, F in the course, possible expulsion. The same as steroids in baseball or blood doping in cycling: it should be against the rules of the institution, not just the law.

Because of this endemic, I can at least feel proud of myself for getting a great GPA while actually learning. Do you think maybe our entire society's version of an education system needs to be reevaluated if kids care more about cheating to get a grade than learning?

Mon Apr 29 2013 12:06
Here's a thought: try studying throughout the semester. Abuse of a CII narcotic is a crime, and you're a criminal and a loser.

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