Titus: Adderall is a university student’s cocaine

Katie Titus

With midterms nearing, it is not unusual for students to stay up all night studying and binging on caffeine. Cramming for tests is something that most college students are used to, but it seems like over the past few semesters students are taking cramming on tests to a new extreme. One of these extremes is taking medication to stay up all night. While this may work for the few days that you need to stay up, it can have poor effects on the body later.

In the college world, Adderall has become part of the regular study habit. After all, who needs Red Bull to stay awake when you can pop an adderall and be good for the night, right? Wrong. Adderall releases serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline in your brain. These things are released when you are doing something you love like playing a sport or listening to music. When the Adderall wears off, however, you go back to normal and you do not get the warm and fuzzies from it anymore.

The effects that cocaine has on your body for the short term make you feel energetic, mentally alert and talkative. The two are close enough for comparison that Adderall could be considered coke for college kids.

Most students can admit to taking Adderall or similar drugs to stay up all night to get their homework done but would consider cocaine a drug. If you would not feel comfortable doing cocaine then you probably should not be taking medications that are not prescribed to you. The same goes for abusing the drug if it is prescribed to you.

Narcotics are drugs.

People can just as easily get addicted to pills as they can to hard drugs. Drugs that are prescribed by a doctor — when taken more than they should be — are not considered medicine when taken in excess, but are considered an abused substance. You can get addicted to medication that is prescribed just as easily as you can to hard drugs, especially if the medication is being abused by not following the directions prescribed.

Whether it is finals week or not, we should not be taking drugs that we are not told to take by our doctors. Statistics show that in a study of people ages 18 to 22 the amount of college students on Adderall is double that of young adults that are not abusing the medication. I understand that midterms and dead week are difficult for students, but if students are overdosing on prescription pills the term “dead week” may become more literal.

The best way to tackle midterms and dead week is to start studying ahead of time and to keep up with school work so that staying up all night to get our work done is not necessary. Just like everyone else, however, I too will procrastinate, but not to the point of having to take prescription drugs to stay awake for multiple days in a row.

When battling with your internal self, trying to decide what is more important — sleep or your GPA — remember that your health is important too. Grab a gatorade, take a nap, don’t forget to eat, and lastly, pray for the best.