By Ryan Nakano
Before I came to college, I never drank coffee. I never needed it and quite honestly it tasted like dirt.
But this article is not about coffee. It’s about a tiny capsule, a pill, 20 milligrams of Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, more commonly known by its brand name Adderall.
The prescription drug works on the central nervous system as a stimulant and in the pharmaceutical world is prescribed to those with cognitive deficiencies such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Narcolepsy.
But come finals week, it seems everyone either has ADHD or Narcolepsy.
No, I don’t mean to suggest that students are unfocused or sporadically falling asleep, but I’ve run into several students over the past couple of days who are in search for the drug.
Because students who do not need Adderall on a medical basis are still students looking to succeed and overcome the stress of their course work. Adderall allows them to not only stay up, but seems to heighten their focus.
One 18-year-old at HSU, who will remain anonymous due to the legality of the issue, continues to use Adderall to study for finals and complete class projects without a prescription.
“I need it to concentrate. Like, I’ll take one or two and I’ll just focus on one thing and that’s all I’ll do. If I were on it right now and I looked at something interesting, I could just stare at it for hours,” he said. “I’m not addicted to it, though; I only use it for finals and projects.”
But even though the student claimed to not be addicted, he said he planned to use the drug throughout the rest of his college career.
With such self-gratifying results, I can’t help but think of the Pringles advertisement slogan “Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.”
But even if a physical addiction does not exist, there does seem to be a dependence on drugs like Adderall when it comes to academics.
And though its use is not considered cheating by either the administration of Humboldt State or by the countless students who take it without a proper prescription, what makes it any different than performance enhancing drugs within the realm of professional sports and athletics?
We all harked on Lance Armstrong for blood doping and Barry Bonds for steroid use but does anyone complain after receiving an A on the paper they wrote on Adderall?
Before I came to college I never took Adderall. I never needed it, and quite honestly it’s 1:33 am and I’m as focused as ever without it.