The easy way out is what we all look for nowadays, whether it is in regards to school, work, relationships or sports. However, while we are looking for shortcuts, we don’t realize there are always consequences for cutting corners.
An interesting question came up while I was at my Alpha Epsilon Delta meeting last Sunday when a student asked: “Should the use of Adderall without a prescription be considered cheating?”
These days, it seems more and more common to see students abuse this medication for better grades, but people don’t really understand how much of a performance enhancer Adderall is for people with normal brain function.
There is a reason that amphetamine substances are prescription drugs. This medication is prescribed by doctors for patients who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — or ADHD — which hinders one’s ability to focus and control their actions in social settings, among other things.
The way this medication works in the brain of someone with ADHD is by blocking the reuptake of dopamine, which in plain English means providing them with the ability to concentrate. However, when someone who takes this medication without a medical diagnosis, this leads to overstimulation of their neurons, resulting in a longer lasting amount of “pleasure” or focus.
The use of Google, your smartphone, or a friend on an exam are all violations of the Virginia Tech Honor Code. This is written in every classroom and on top of every syllabus. However somehow the use of prescriptions illegally is not reinforced in the same way.
There are number of athletes in the MLB and the NFL who have been fined and suspended for using anabolic steroids because these athletes were accused of using illegal substances to enhance their performance.
If these professionals are reprimanded for their use of performance enhancing drugs, why aren't students who use a drug to obtain a higher grade on an exam? While it is very difficult to prove whether a student is using this medication, adding the abuse of Adderall to the honor code would hold more worth.
One should know that using Adderall to get ahead would put them behind academically if they get caught. These students will not only be risking their future but also their dreams of going to any kind of professional school because no reputable school wants a cheater.
Also, doctors should take more extreme measures when they prescribe this medication. It is quite unfortunate that these pills have such a high street value making the temptation to sell even higher.
What students may not know is that Adderall, Ritalin and other amphetamines are considered schedule II drugs, which means if they're found in your possession, you may face a $2,500 fine and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Is a criminal record and a stain on your academic record worth that A in a three-credit course?
We take shortcuts to get ahead, but what we don’t realize is these shortcuts may lead us in the opposite direction of where we want to go.
So think about it; is the easy the way out really worth it?