Tipping the Bucket

Finally.

My unanswered annoyance has been addressed.

My silent frustration is being acknowledged.

My frustratingly straight edge nature wasa bound to come to light at some point…

The Today show, my favorite morning new segment (yes I know how normal I sound right now) did a story on a topic I have been bitching about for quite a while now (though I’m sure few have heard the extent of my opinions)

Today Investigates covered the topic of Adderall.

 If you don’t know what Adderall is, you’ve been living under a rock.

False.

If you do know adderall, then you either know about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or possibly have college aged students…

Let’s hope the former.

ADD – as the name implies, a disorder in which you cannot focus, it’s a hyperactivation reflected in changes in brain structure. In the 1990s diagnoses spiked when the disease became viewed as a much more natural condition.

In 2001, Shire Pharmacuticals released Adderall XR as a new form of the the once popular diet drug Obetrol. Many studies have demonstrated Adderall’s ability to allow children to focus on tasks and regain a normal level of activity…

Okay so in brief let’s look at what we have here. A drug, readily prescribed, with an amphetamine base, that helps people focus, and reduced appetite. Logically. Let’s just be logical here. Who do you think is going to “benefit” from this drug the most….

Athletes use steroids to gain a biological edge over the competition, college students use adderall to do the same. This analogy was quoted in the Today short, but it’s something that any college student could draw up.

I know two people that have never used adderall in their life.

Literally. I’m in a sorority of 100 girls, I was in a study abroad program of 55, I am in a service club of 30. And I know two people that have never done adderall in their lives.

There are so many reasons why this topic makes me upset…

1) Selfishly, the first thing that comes to mind is fairness. Not only am I competition against a breed of pre-med students that are perfectly comfortable having no social life, leaving the dorm only for food. But add performance enhancing drugs on top of that, and look what I’m up against. Look at what students that don’t want to take this drug have to do? This situation, that I would argue almost all college students are pushed into, does not make it easy to study drug free. Its ridiculous. I get so heated over this because grades are a big deal, doing well in college is a big deal. And people use this bullshit ADD drug made for elementary aged kids to study for 8 hours on end.

2) As I mentioned its an amphetamine. Cocaine is an amphetamine. methamphetamine. I think because this is a newer issue the level of awareness is quite low, and I don’t think a lot of kids know what they are getting into… Cocaine was once used as an anesthetic and prescribed to patients in the 19th century, studies have shown the irreversible damage it can cause to the brain and other organs. So because adderall is prescribed by doctors it’s automatically safe? heroine = morphine = used in hospitals for pain relief, doesn’t mean it’s not destructively addictive and harmful. My point is that I think studies need to be run, on the affects of adderall on the body and brain, and that people need to be made aware of these consequences. There are already many cases of people being addicted and developing secondary disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression

3) Possession of a controlled substance. Sale of a control substance. Felony. Felony. Really? Is it worth it? With increasing media attention law enforcement will tighten it’s regulations and impose stronger punishments on those breaking the law with adderall use or sale.

I worry about my best friends! The people I love that could seriously be putting their health in jeopardy. I know how helpful the drug can be. But I’ve also seen the depression, mood swings, erratic behavior and addictiveness in people close to me. I know this seems extreme but I feel strongly about this issue because I value health, I value fairness, I value my friends. People need to stop relying on substances to get them through everyday life. Especially young people. I know too many alcoholics  and drug users that love to party and love the appetite suppressant. This just goes with other issues I have raised about values among college students. I am and will always be a liberal but I strongly feel we need to get back to our roots when it comes to everyday values.

I really hope future sociology studies will be run to prove the prevalence of adderall in colleges, and biology studies to prove the affects of abuse of this drug.

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