Student Life

Adderall: The Magic, Straight “A” Pill

Straight ‘A’ Magic Pill

By: Jay Simpson, Clarion University of Pennsylvania

College students are constantly pressured by competition. Before enrollment scholars were told that without good grades and a high SAT score they will not be accepted into a great university. During their first year a freshman must compete with other students in the dorms, classrooms, rush week, and other campus life activities for social acceptance.

Amongst the social pressure, the biggest stressor is completing general education classes to be accepted into a specialized degree program. There are many students who have the natural ability to brush stress off their backs. It doesn’t matter what mentality a professor possesses certain students will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. Many of these students are able to go to class, read a chapter when they get home, not study for an exam, and get a high A. On the other hand, there are students who will attend every class, re-write their notes when they get home, read the chapter, study for weeks before an exam, pull an all-nighter prior to the test, and squeak by with a C average. Regardless of your track record, college is your second chance to redefine your personality, but how can a student cope with the competitive nature associated with academia?

Fueled by demanded perfection many students are turning to substance based learning. Adderall, aka ‘The Smart Drug’, has been reportedly used by 25% of the college population. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, college students are twice as likely to abuse Adderall as a person who is in the same age group but not attending school.  Developed to help counter-act some of the symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), many doctors have discovered and prescribed Adderall to students who are struggling to stay focused in school.

With statistics reflecting 1 in 4 students will use Adderall, chances are that every college student will know somebody who uses it, or will one day come into contact with the drug illegally. Since Adderall is a prescription medicine a student who takes the drug from another student commits a federal offense. Also, a student who shares their prescription with another student can be arrested for distributing a controlled substance, punishable under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Not to mention, students must be careful if they choose to use substances because any drug related conviction will inhibit a student from receiving financial aid.

Another thought to take into consideration for any student looking to take the edge off of college stress is that Adderall is a schedule 2 medication, meaning that it has a very high risk of dependence and abuse. College can be really tough at times, but so can life. Please take into account what you are risking if you choose to take a pill to get a better grade. Some common side effects are:

  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Uncontrolled shaking of the body
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Pounding/Fast heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Verbal tics
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Seizures
  • Weak or numb leg/arm
  • Hallucinations
  • Mania
  • Depression
  • Blistering/peeling skin
  • Rash, Hives, Itching
  • Swollen eyes, face, tongue, throat

Look for a multimedia video about the drug at the New Student Union site launch! Keep updated by following us on Twitter.



The New Student Union is an online magazine run by and for college students covering the issues we care about. Self-starters with great communication skills and a passion for writing should email to get involved. Official site will launch in late 2011.


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