It’s all too easy to obtain that magic pill that gives you a boost during finals. You probably know someone willing to sell you an Adderall, and if not, you can easily find a Concerta, Ritalin, Methylin, Dextrostat, or a Decedrine on campus. It’s so tempting to take a pill to obtain tunnel-like focus that in turn will give you that bright, shining “A” you desperately need.
After the first time, it’s too tempting to pass up again—the thought of being locked in the library without your six-hour ancillary capsule is just horrifying. So when students get hooked on recreational test helpers, they move to the major leagues and get their own prescription. It’s simple enough to get a recommendation from a doctor; Wikipedia can tell you all the answers you need to pass the test proving you are positive for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yes, you have trouble sitting still, yes, you have trouble concentrating… it’s the one test you don’t need an Adderall to pass. The results of tests of students with A.D.H.D. and those merely faking symptoms are absolutely indistinguishable. The test doctors hand out is a short cut, a cop-out diagnosis.
Physicians and psychiatrists will make the process even easier for perspective clients. They make hasty diagnoses to lying patients and up dosages even with evidence of growing addiction and psychiatric instability to make a quick buck off of a desperate college student. The mutual understanding of faking tests and writing prescriptions is a travesty. Obliging doctors give out hundreds of pills each day even if more medication might be detrimental to a patient’s health. According to the New York Times, as many as 35% of college students use stimulant drugs to enhance their academic performance. The pills are a kind of steroid for your study skills. For most who use the drugs more than once and a while, they find daily activities difficult without popping a pill. It’s at this point when they become an addict. It is projected that ten percent of Adderall users become addicted.
While a pill might give you six hours of pure concentration and studying bliss, the side effects take over the remaining eighteen hours of your day. Mood darkening, scattered sleep pattern, tics, and decreased appetite might consume your non-stimulated part of the day. As the dosage goes up, the negative symptoms do, as well. In extreme cases of addiction suicide is a threat.
The pills aren’t the problem with overwhelming addiction and abuse of the drug, but, rather, the doctors that prescribe the medication. Too lenient and too easy with their prescription pad, doctors fail to take the time to inspect the real severity of a patient. More often than not, doctors take the clients’ word for granted and trust their articulated symptoms without seeing any real evidence toward A.D.H.D. Doctors and students, both, should stop relying so much on pills as problem solvers. The cycle of abusing Adderall and similar drugs is one that should be stopped immediately, before dangerous outcomes become more prevalent around the country.