Adderall hooks college campuses during finals week

Students abuse prescription drug in an attempt to enhance academic performance.

Eliana Park/THE CHIMES

Eliana Park/THE CHIMES

Tim Seeberger, Writer

With finals week approaching, it is time for students to concentrate on the numerous final projects and exams to come. With the rush of this mentally-trying stretch of the semester, the idea of turning to prescription drugs like Adderall to aid studying presents an attractive idea. Students should keep in mind the negative effects of this powerful prescription drug, which has the potential to be abused and can contribute to a growing illegal black market.

Concentration at a Cost

Adderall, or Amphetamine Dextroamphetamine, is a prescription drug prescribed to patients with ADD or ADHD. The drug, taken usually orally in tablet or pill form, helps users concentrate without distractions. The drug is a mix of both main ingredients that counteracts chemicals in the central nervous system causing hyperactivity and decreased focus.

Over the past decade, Adderall gained prominence among college students for times like finals. Generally, there are two ways a student can acquire Adderall. First, a student can be prescribed the drug by a doctor for mental health reasons. This can be filled at any pharmacy and allows control of the substance. Second, a student can buy pills from the black market where a 30 mg pill can cost about $10 on average in the Los Angeles area.

Potential for Abuse

Although it is safe to obtain Adderall by prescription, both methods cause problems. Acquiring Adderall through a pharmacy can lead to prescribing too many pills. A student can easily sell their extra pills on the black market. The second method of buying Adderall is illegal. According to California State Law, Adderall is a schedule II drug, meaning it has a lower potential for abuse than schedule I drug but still high potential and can lead to severe psychological effects and physical dependence if abused. Possession of Adderall while armed with a firearm, illegal transportation and sale of the drug without a valid prescription can result in legal prosecution. The drug has harmful side effects beyond the criminal possibilities. Symptoms include a fast, irregular heartbeat, stomach pain, restlessness, appetite loss, headache and dizziness.

The use of Adderall is a tough paradox. On one end of the spectrum, it is a helpful prescription drug to those suffering with attention deficit disorders. It aids in times such as finals week where it is necessary to focus on work without distractions. On the other end of the spectrum, it is a drug that is useful to some but not necessary for most students. It contributes to a massive black market prevalent on campuses across America. In the end, Adderall is a prescription drug and like all drugs, it is smart to take it with prudence. All drugs can lead to dependence and Adderall is no different.

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