Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Letter to the editor: Adderall abuse sets ADD patients back

A month ago, the editorial board condemned Lance Armstrong for his use of performance-enhancing drugs in the Tour de France. This week, The Miami Hurricane unashamedly encouraged its readers to abuse performance-enhancing prescription medications, telling students that it’s okay to take the alleged psychological equivalent of steroids. In doing so, my beloved paper sold its professional image for ratings.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a serious psychological malady which has been trivialized by popular culture. There are rules and criteria for the disorder which should not be overlooked, such as vulnerability to distraction, extreme forgetfulness, lack of attentiveness and dislike of activities that require pronounced mental effort. In order for an individual to be diagnosed, these symptoms (and at least two other unlisted criteria) must present themselves in at least two different social settings and cause noticeable impairments over a period of six months.

ADD symptoms are commonly treated with stimulant medications like Adderall, Concerta and Vyvanse, which have side effects as far apart in magnitude as dry mouth and epilepsy-grade seizures. Furthermore, these drugs are amphetamines commonly used in the synthesis of crystal meth. Because of these side effects (as well as the ethical implications surrounding the drugs), I waited years to fill my prescriptions. I was so reluctant that I avoided the subject throughout my undergraduate experience. Though I suffered academically and professionally, I did okay.

Because people abuse these stimulants, there is a nationwide shortage of Adderall, Concerta and Vyvanse. As a result, those of us who actually need the medication must work harder to fill our prescriptions. The prevalence of jacked-up, super students makes it harder for people with ADD to compete (or catch up) in school settings and in the workplace. By promoting cheating and Adderall abuse (or articles by those who do), the Hurricane only complicated its situation.

As an idealist, I believe all people must take responsibility for their ideas, words and actions. As a writer, I believe that journalism must be used to hold society accountable for those things and their consequences. The press exists to spread enlightenment to the masses through the truthful, fair, comprehensive and tasteful analysis of relevant events and issues.

 

Andrew Blitman is a graduate student at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

November 14, 2012

Reporters

Andrew Blitman

Science Columnist


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Lonnie Walker excelled on the court during the NBA Combine in Chicago last week. The potential lotte ...

Athlon Sports released its projections for the 2018 college football season Monday. The predictions ...

Here is some impressive news for the University of Miami football program: All but one of the remain ...

Lonnie Walker IV stood out on and off the court at the NBA Draft Combine, which ended on Sunday in C ...

University of Miami incoming prep star Will Mallory, the other half of the soon-to-be No. 1 freshman ...

From boathouse to marine research powerhouse, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Scienc ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Over his more than two decades at the U, the dean of students from 1976-1989 always put students fir ...

The final Sea Secrets lecture at the Rosenstiel School examines the biofluorescence of marine organi ...

Sinead Lohan and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned ITA Southeast R ...

Sophomore righthander Evan McKendry and freshman Freddy Zamora were among those recognized by the At ...

Senior Jeb Bargfeldt was recognized as ACC Pitcher of the Week following a dominating performance ag ...

No. 7 seed Miami opens its run at the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship Tuesday, May 22 against No. 11 ...

Although 17th-year head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews has made Sweet 16 appearances commonplace the jour ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.