California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Study Drugs Fuel The Cram For Finals

Packed schedules, work and extracurricular activities leave some college students feeling they do not have the time for schoolwork, encouraging the use of “study drugs” such as Adderall and Ritalin, according to experts.

As many as 25 percent of students at some college campuses have used Adderall or Ritalin in the last year, according to Martha J. Farah, director of the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania.

Farah has studied the use of Adderall and Ritalin on college campuses throughout the United States, according to National Public Radio (NPR).

The student responses will remain anonymous, since the using or selling of these drugs without a prescription is a felony.

“My roommate has ADD, so if she has an extra pill or two she gives them to me,” said a third year student at CSU East Bay. “It has really helped me study for finals.”

Adderall and Ritalin are commonly prescribed to people who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The drugs help people who are diagnosed focus and stay involved in what they are doing, according to experts Melinda Smith and Jocelyn Block.

“I’ve never taken Adderall, but I have definitely thought about it,” said a 22-year-old CSUEB student. “I hear it can make studying and long assignments a lot easier.”

Adderall is an amphetamine. For people who are not diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, this can allow a person to stay awake for hours without feeling tired, increase focus and create an urge to get things done, according to Farah.

“Some of my friends and I would get together to crash study and we would all take an Adderall,” said a junior business member. “It is cheap and effective.”

Adderall, nicknamed “Addy” is currently the single most popular study drug on college campuses, according to some students.

“I knew a couple people who would sell ‘Addy’ to friends,” said a CSUEB alum. “In my opinion, it is medicine and not designed for struggling students.”

Some students with ADD or ADHD say they sell the pills they do not use.

“I get sixty pills a month for my ADD,” said a CSUEB freshman. “I never use them all. I usually sell one pill for five dollars, but sometimes when there is a high demand I’ve charged as much as twenty [dollars].”

The side effects of Adderall and Ritalin include severe sleep deprivation, dehydration, headaches, nausea, heart irregularities and can be addictive, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

“It is also a little worrisome, because basically that extra motivation that you feel when you’re using these drugs is the result of the drugs’ effects on the brain’s reward system,” said Farah.

Some students use a study drug in place of a time management course. “My mom wanted me to take a workshop to learn how to study or something, but this [taking a drug] is so much easier,” said a 19-year-old student. Often times the side effects of the drug are not felt until later.

“I used Adderall to help me cram for the first few years I was in school,” said a fifth-year student. “At first it was great, but I started getting really dizzy the more I used it. Ultimately, using the drug just isn’t worth it.”

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Study Drugs Fuel The Cram For Finals