Adderall is a popular method of conquering attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder for a handful of Chapman students. Those who have a prescription hold the golden key to what many students believe enhances their ability to excel in school. Prescribed students are left with the pressure of deciding whether or not to share.
Twenty percent of unprescribed college students have used Adderall as an educational aid according to a study by the Center for Disease Control, referenced in an article by The New York Times. Students without ADHD find the effects of the amphetamine holy. With the ability to heighten attention levels and increase work ethic, unprescribed students worship the tiny pill.
Students from a psychology class taught by Dr. Sara LaBelle conducted a study about the misuse of Adderall among college students nationally. The study showed that the rate of stimulant medication misuse among college students was 17 percent. Adderall was found to be the most misused medication.
An anonymous sophomore business major has been selling Adderall as a way to make easy money since her junior year of high school. However, she is not comfortable letting people know that she has a prescription.
“I am extremely comfortable with telling people that I take Adderall,” the student said. “I don’t tell people that I’m prescribed because that way they won’t try to get the cheapest price out of me.”
The student found that when she would casually remark about having a prescription, people were more likely to argue in favor of paying less.
“I feel like I was being taken advantage of. There is a difference between being prescribed and selling, and if people know you are both, they won’t pay as much,” the student said.
The student said she charges $10 for one 10 mg pill. The student sells them solely to get rid of extra pills.
Sophomore public relations and advertising major Anna Preblud is prescribed Adderall for a learning impediment. Preblud is hesitant to reveal that she has a prescription based off her past experiences with people taking advantage of her.
“My freshman year roommates knew that I was prescribed,” Preblud said. “When they would ask me for Adderall, I felt pressured because I knew that I would have the option to always get more.”
Preblud feels comfortable with her close friends knowing about her prescription. She draws the line there. Preblud does not give her prescription out to anyone.
“I definitely don’t tell everyone. I know that so many people would try to get close to me or ask me to have some all the time,” Preblud said.
An anonymous sophomore public relations and advertising major shares that although she is not prescribed Adderall, she has a dealer that gives her 20 mg tablets for $12 a pill.
“I found my dealer through a friend and he also goes to Chapman,” she said. “I just text him whenever I need Adderall and he gives me as much as I want as long as I pay him.”
According to another anonymous student, majoring in studio art, it is not a challenge to get Adderall from a student who is prescribed and willing to sell.
“As long as the student trusts you and you pay them, people are really casual in giving out their pills,” the student said. “I think this is personally not a smart idea, because if it really came down to it and I had to give up their name if it meant saving my education at Chapman, I would. It’s a risk were both taking.”
Freshman business major Tara Katims says having an Adderall prescription for her ADHD is immensely helpful but can also put her in unwanted situations.
“It can be a somewhat uncomfortable topic among friends. I feel pressured when they complain to me about the immense load of work they feel like they need medicine for,” Katims said.
Katims has been asked multiple times to share her medicine with fellow students, which can be awkward and stressful for her.
“I am not a pharmacist and I don’t know peoples’ medical history,” Katims said. “I don’t want to worry about the impact Adderall could have on them.”
According to Chapman professor and psychologist Dr. David Pincus, Adderall has the same effects on an individual with or without ADHD: increased focus. However, individuals without ADHD who take it put their health at risk and may experience heavy side effects.
“Stimulants allow people to have improved focus by allowing us to resist distractions that are more naturally rewarding,” Dr. Pincus said.
For people without ADHD, Adderall works as an enhancement, according to Pincus. Rather, for people without the disorder, Adderall provides a prosthetic-like device.
Pincus said, “People taking stimulants that are not prescribed are more likely to develop abuse or addiction, which can be associated with intolerance and withdrawal.”