Adderall offers energy to worn-out students

By Christopher Norman

Many parents and teachers recommend students get eight hours of sleep a night during high school as part of a healthy study schedule. Many students, however, forget that recommendation in college.

It is not unusual to walk into the library at midnight or later on a weekday and see many of the desks and tables occupied with students cramming for the next day. The stress of midterms and finals sometimes forces students to look for ways to make the most of their time.

In order to stay up longer and study harder some students abuse stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin. Some students have even gone as far as calling Adderall “Ivy League Crack.”

Adderall is an amphetamine usually prescribed to help relax the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children and adults. When used by someone who does not suffer from ADHD, the drug’s effects are reversed. Instead of calming a person, the drug can give a person more energy.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, amphetamines like Adderall have a high potential for abuse. Taking it for long periods of time can lead to addiction. The main danger that accompanies amphetamine-abuse is the possibility of sudden death and serious cardiovascular complications.

Bethany Rudy, a freshman undecided major, said she has tried Red Bull, No-Doz and Adderall to help her study.

“My friend is prescribed it,” she said. “She gets 12-hour release all the time.”

Rudy said if the drugs are taken in moderation and for class, it is not abuse. She said the drug helps her stay awake longer and focus more.

Many students have more conventional ways of staying awake and studying.

Puja Lodhavia, a special education major, said almost every Thursday, she and a few friends stay up all night in order to study for quizzes the next day. They like to call themselves “The Breakfast Club” because they are still awake for breakfast the next morning. They usually take naps midday and bring coffee or soda to the study sessions.

“I have a lot of quizzes and exams on Fridays, and Thursday night is the only time I have to study,” Lodhavia said.

Some students said they could study in a healthier way if they could find a better way to manage time.

The university has resources to help students with time management or drug problems. Time management, as well as other study strategies, are taught by the Coaching for Academic Success program, a part of the Counseling and Student Development Center. The CSDC also provides confidential, individualized substance abuse evaluations of drug abuse.

For more information, contact the CSDC at 753-1206.