College students are known for pulling all-nighters, cramming for tests, and working on multiple assignments at once.
Coffee and energy drinks are what people assume most students are using. Now, students are learning how to complete their work with the help of a different substance – Adderall.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Adderall is the second most common drug abused on college campuses.
Oscar Hernandez has always had issues procrastinating and had trouble focusing on his school work. In the efforts to get things done, he decided to try Adderall.
“I had a big paper due and it’s really easy for me to get distracted,” Hernandez said. “My roommate had picked some up from his friend and I decided to try it because something that could help me focus sounded interesting to me.”
The drug made Hernandez feel alert. Since then, he has used Adderall multiple times throughout his college career.
“I do think taking it is worth it and I’ll probably keep taking it since I think it genuinely helps,” Hernandez said.
Adderall is typically prescribed to individuals with ADHD. It releases chemicals, specifically dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain to stimulate focus and awareness. However, it also comes with negative side effects.
“Staying up all night isn’t good for the body in general, so using Adderall to do this is even worse because they may not know their health status,” said Justin Santos, a registered nurse. “Adderall can do things, like, exacerbate a heart issue.”
Aware of such risks, Monica Valdivia, CSUSB student, was reluctant to try the drug.
“The first time I took it I was so nervous because it’s not prescribed to me so I didn’t know if it would affect me negatively,” Valdivia said. “That’s why I only take it when I feel like I seriously need the help.”
The drug is easily accessible. This is why it’s widely and commonly consumed by college students.
“If you try hard enough, you can find it in a couple of hours,” Astrid Cortez, CSUSB alumni, said. “It’s as easy as buying weed now.”
Cortez used to frequently use Adderall. However, she stopped once she felt it wasn’t working for her.
“I feel like it does nothing for me anymore,” Cortez said. “Students are so stressed all the time. I don’t blame them for trying to find something that helps.”
Students can go from taking the pill once a month to every week.
It is never advised to use pills unless prescribed. The pressure to do well in college makes students disregard this and turn to alternative substances. Using Adderall for temporary help is not worth the potential danger.
“If you’re thinking about taking Adderall I would advise you to think it through,” Santos said. “It may seem like an easy option but risking your health is never worth it.”