Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

Erin Lail Instructor: Malcolm Campbell English 1103 3 October 2013 Just Pop an Addy Dude There is a rapidly

growing controversy over the illegal abuse of the prescription drug Adderall and other generic forms of this drug by college students. Adderall is composed of dextroamphetamine saccharate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, aspartate, and sulfate. These ingredients aid in the increase of extracellular levels of the biogenic amines dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. In other words, Adderall is taken to help people stay focused and alert. This drug is prescribed to people who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This drug is very beneficial if used correctly by a prescribed person, but many college students that are not prescribed it use Adderall for the wrong reasons (Coalition Against Drug Abuse). Adderall abuse starts when it is taken for reasons other than for medical purposes. The Nation Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSUDH) reported in 2006-2007 that fulltime students ages eighteen to twenty-two were two times more likely to use Adderall for recreational purposes than people the same age who were not fulltime students. Youth suffering from Adderall abuse are subject to extremely harmful side effects. The majority of people who take Adderall that are not prescribed to it start taking it because they think that it will help them be more focused or that it will give them more energy to do school work. Some people are aware that side effects include a loss of appetite; they wont be hungry when they take Adderall so its purpose is then

Lail 2

weight control. After people experience the effects of Adderall they may begin to like what it does to their body, causing them to want to take it more. This leads to addiction (Wish, Eric D, Benjamin Falls, and Emy Nakamura). "Tweaking and Tweeting: Exploring Twitter for Nonmedical Use of a Psychostimulant Drug (adderall) Among College Students" is a journal that documents a study conducted on twitter from November 2011- May 2012. Any tweets containing the word Adderall were monitored for information about side affects and GPS tracking was used to collect data on the locations of the tweeters. Adderall tweets were at their highest peak around finals time in colleges. This studys purpose was to show how Adderall is used as a study aid among college students (Hanson). The DEWS Maryland Early Drug Warning System conducted surveys reporting back that Adderall was in the top three easiest drugs to obtain only behind alcohol and marijuana. A majority of the people surveyed said that the use of prescription stimulants for studying and to take exams was widespread. Many of the common perceptions among these groups of students are that prescription stimulant use is, increasingly acceptable. Even some peoples parents know they use it to study and dont even care as long as theyre getting good grades., I feel like using stimulants non-medically is becoming more socially acceptable. Its no longer a surprise to hear about, and people dont seem to be concerned or feel there is any medical risk in misusing them., and I dont feel like students taking pills in order to help them hit the books and obtain good grades in our competitive university system is such a bad thing. I feel like students who are taking them to drink and of course snorting them is a big deal. Mixing chemicals like that could be very dangerous. Some of the common reasons students reported for consumption of Adderall and other stimulants were to help cram for a test, take right before exam to help focus on exam,

Lail 3

help study in general not including cramming, get excited/up for a party, stay awake to drink longer, increase the effects of alcohol, stay awake to party longer, not including drinking, increase the effects of other drugs, to deal with depression, reduce anxiety, to lose weight, reduce inhibitions, get excited/up for a sporting event, help wake up in the morning, perform better in athletics, and promote sexual activity (DEWS Maryland Early Drug Warning System). All of these reasons are invalid reasons to take the drug and are definitely not good reasons to take the drug illegally. Dr. Alan DeSantis who is a professor at the University of Kentucky conducted a recent study on a group of 175 students in the southeastern region of the United States. When these students were interviewed they replied to the questions about Adderall abuse with defensive answers. The group of students all used the same four reoccurring arguments. Their first defense was a compare and contrast argument. The students compared the illegal use of Adderall to the illegal use of other bad drugs like marijuana and cocaine. The students said that they were taking Adderall for the right reasons, like bettering their grades. Many of the students said that the illegal use was morally justifiable because it was for a positive outcome like helping them focus longer, study, and retain more information while studying. Their second argument was along the lines of all things in moderation. By this the students meant that if they didnt use the drug a great deal it was harmless. They believe that if they arent overusing, the drug cannot have any negative side effects on them. Thirdly, the group claimed that they were self-medicating. They backed up this claim by saying they already knew that they showed signs of ADHD and ADD, so why would they spend valuable time and money going to the doctor so they can be told something they already know?

Lail 4

Their last argument was minimization. They belittled the situation to make it seem better. Some students pointed out the fact that it is a drug prescribed by doctors and young children take it so it cant be bad. One of the male students argued that there was no societal harm in the dealing of this drug illegally; he said, You dont see people getting shot over this. He implied that the drug is harmful to no one in any of the parties involved. Several students made the claim that taking the medication is almost the same thing as drinking a bunch of coffee, energy drinks, or an energy pill. However, there was something lacking in all of the arguments. None of the students had a clear understanding of what Adderall really is and what it actually does to their bodies. While their arguments provide insight on why this drug is so commonly abused and is still on the increase, all of their arguments can be countered with stronger evidence. The students made no comments about negative side effects; they said that they feel great on it and didnt acknowledge any of the common side effects. The use of this drug has a long list of minor side effects and major side effects, reported by the Coalition Against Drug Abuse. Some of the minor side effects include: nervousness, restlessness, shaking of a body part, headache, sleep difficulty, changes in sex drive, nausea, stomach pain, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Some of the major side effects include: pounding or fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, tiredness, seizures, weakness in arms or legs, dizziness, speech difficulty, chest pain, hoarseness, verbal or motor tics, paranoia, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, changes in vision, blurred vision, mania, itching, swelling, hives, rash, and blistering or peeling skin. Just because drugs are made, regulated, or prescribed by a medical establishment doesnt make them safe. The chemicals used in pharmaceutical drugs are potentially as dangerous or addictive as those found in uncontrolled substances. There are extremely important reasons that

Lail 5

prescribed patients can only be prescribed a months worth of this medication at a time. Comparing the illegal use of a legal drug, to the use of an illegal drug isnt a strong argument. There are going to be negative side effects to any kind of drug even if it is FDA approved and can be prescribed by a doctor. The moderation argument becomes irrelevant immediately when you really think about it. Just because you used Adderall while not prescribed to it one time doesnt eliminate the risk factors. One time use and random use of this stimulant can trigger the rupture of an unstable heart. People commonly think that, It wont happen to me. There are also common misconceptions that authority figures in the community are too concerned with other illegal dealing of drugs like marijuana to worry about the illegal distribution of amphetamines. This assumption is false. The first time distribution of Adderall is attached to a mandatory five-year federal sentence. Moderation isnt a factor in these cases, therefore making it an invalid argument. ADHD and ADD are two serious developmental disorders and people should be better educated on what they are before they can diagnose themselves or try to self medicate. This concept is dangerous. This is another reason why Adderall and other amphetamines are prescribed by doctors and regulated by a medical establishment. It isnt practical to classify an occasional concentration issue as a medical disorder. You cant minimize a developmental disorder to justify the right to take a medication illegally because it is not ethically sound. And the substance that you are abusing should not be taken lightly either. Amphetamines have a short term and long term affect on your brain. The components that make up Adderall and other generic forms are not the same components that youll find in coffee, energy drinks, or an energy

Lail 6

pill so they are not comparable. Adderall abuse amongst college students is a prevalent issue and is increasing (DeSantis, A, E.M Webb, and S.M Noar).

Sources Adderall Abuse Symptoms, Signs and Addiction Treatment." Adderall Abuse Symptoms, Signs and Addiction Treatment. Coalition Against Drug Abuse, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. DeSantis, A, E.M Webb, and S.M Noar. "Illicit Use of Prescription Adhd Medications on a College Campus: a Multimethodological Approach." Journal of American College Health. 57.3 (2008): 315-323. Print. Dews Investigates: New Student Drug Research (sdr) Survey Examines Prescription Stimulant Misuse Among College Students. United States, 2005. Print. Hanson, CL, SH Burton, C Giraud-Carrier, JH West, MD Barnes, and B Hansen. "Tweaking and Tweeting: Exploring Twitter for Nonmedical Use of a Psychostimulant Drug (adderall) Among College Students." Journal of Medical Internet Research. 15.4 (2013). Print. Lakhan, SE, and A Kirchgessner. "Prescription Stimulants in Individuals with and Without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Misuse, Cognitive Impact, and Adverse Effects." Brain and Behavior. 2.5 (2012): 661-77. Print. Wish, Eric D, Benjamin Falls, and Emy Nakamura. College Students' Perceptions of NonMedical Use of Prescription Stimulants by Their Peers: Findings from the April 2005 Administration of the Student Drug Research (sdr) Survey. United States, 2005. Print.

Lail 7