Magic pill can enhance focus, drive

To doctors, Adderall is the medication prescribed to individuals diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. But to many college students, it is a miracle.

This “magic pill” is intended for people who need to concentrate without getting distracted, but who are unable to do so because of a chemical imbalance in their brains.

However, college students sometimes ignore the medical criteria to get prescribed, and instead find other ways to obtain the drug. Their excuse: It helps them study more effectively and keeps their mind off time-consuming social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

As college students, we understand the pressures many of us face when it comes to balancing school, work and our social lives. Now more than ever, college students are increasingly competitive while they prepare to enter the workforce. Thus, some students turn to this study drug.

A New York Times study found that the majority of students who take Adderall illegally do so to be more competitive in school. This makes perfect sense; the bar for students is constantly being raised, pushing them to be smarter, faster and stronger. But some students can’t meet these standards without a little help from Sir Adderall.

The truth is, college students will find a way to get the drug even if it isn’t prescribed to them. Whether they buy it from someone who has ADHD, buy it from someone who obtains it illegally or steal it from a friend, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 6.4 percent of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 had misused Adderall. The survey also found that college students fake symptoms in order to get  prescriptions. Faking an attention disorder is extremely easy because blood tests can’t prove the diagnosis.

You can blame the system. You can blame college professors. You can even blame society for not making exceptions to the rule that some students must “do it all.” Whichever way you look at it, students have been forced to search for ways to boost their drive, and Adderall is indeed a solution.

Adderall won’t make you smarter or invincible, it just heightens your drive to finish study guides, research papers and projects. Others shouldn’t look down on those who need – and welcome – the extra push.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

November 11, 2012


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