Students shouldn’t rely on Adderall to get through finals week

Everyone needs a little boost during finals, right? Most people reach for coffee, but more people are looking to adult ADD and ADHD medicines, like Adderall.

According to, nearly 35 percent of all college students admit to using Adderall as a stimulant for studying.

Since it is doctor prescribed, obtaining Adderall should be difficult. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is not difficult at all in the U.S. or Canada. The U.S. and Canada are the only markets in which Adderall and other amphetamines are available.

Selling prescription drugs on the black market, like illicit drugs such as cocaine, is illegal. In other countries like Argentina, where I studied abroad, Adderall is illegal and getting a prescription filled is impossible.

Students say that it is more common on campus than most would think.

“During finals, people post [about Adderall] on Facebook and Twitter,” said junior Audrey Dow.

It’s apparent who is on Adderall as well. The most obvious side effect is the ability to stay awake and stay focused.

Junior Ana Perez says that she can usually tell who has taken Adderall because the people that are sitting focused for hours are not the ones that are typically library-goers.

“I know in study rooms, there is a group of eight people who are all on it,” said Perez. “They’re all on the board writing so much. It’s crazy.”

Staying up late and cramming are part of finals, but with Adderall, studying is supposedly easier.

“I know that people are pulling all-nighters,” said Dow. “This guy I know maybe slept last night, but he was going on three days.”

Other side effects include loss of appetite and dry mouth.

“They add red bull and coffee to that mix and it’s wild,” said Perez.

This brings up the safety issue. With students trying prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them, who is responsible for their well-being?

I think doctors are too quick to prescribe drugs over suggesting people change their lifestyle. There needs to be more follow up with the prescription process. Doctors should be doing more testing to determine whether a drug is necessary for a student.

“I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing,” said junior Shakivla Todd. “It’s good if you’re prescribed it and it’s horrible if you’re just using it to focus for exams and finals.”

And while I agree that there are some rules that are meant to be broken, I think using a prescription drug without the consultation of a professional isn’t the brightest idea.

“Obviously taking a medication that’s not prescribed to you, you don’t know how it’s going to affect you,” said Dow.

While it seems that Adderall can be helpful in allowing students to function and focus for extended amounts of time, this is just the lazy American way out of learning discipline. I can’t be sure because I’m biased. I am prescribed Adderall for my ADHD.


Miles George
Staff Writer
Published Dec. 12, 2012