Winter is coming and so are exams. Time to buckle down.
In the upcoming weeks the University of Michigan shuts down. Students stay inside to avoid the weather and everyone is just a little more on edge. Although lethargic, gloomy, and often angry, an alarming number of Michigan students are actually wired and highly motivated. The issue arises when this energy and motivation costs five to ten dollars, a text message, and a trip out of your room.
Adderrall is a mixture of amphetamine salts that act as glorified speed. It reduces hunger and rids you of fatigue. It allows you to study for hours on end without a distracting thought. Sounds great, right? Not so much. To begin, Adderrall rapidly increases heart rate, causes nausea, restlessness, weakness, and weight loss, among multitudes of other side effects. Although these side effects are unfortunate, they are not the issue at hand. Adderrall is extremely addictive and its social acceptance and nonchalant use only perpetuate said addiction. There are constant stories about students not being able to study without Adderrall, or stories of stressed-out students taking Adderrall once for a big exam and taking it every night after that.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration upwards of 6.4% of college students have reported using non-prescribed amphetamines to study for tests. I am sure that the number is higher. It is not an uncommon sight during exam week on the fourth floor UGLI to see diligent students slyly take a pill and continue to study for the next fourteen hours. Adderrall usage is rampant and officially socially acceptable.
But this is not a blog to lecture on the known adverse side effects of habitual Adderrall abuse.
Adderrall alleviates the symptoms of ADD and ADHD and allows people who suffer from these inhibiting diseases to function. But not everyone who is prescribed Adderrall has been officially diagnosed with either disease.
This is how Adderrall has gotten the reputation of being a wealthy man’s drug. In affluent areas, doctors are viciously over prescribing Adderrall because insurance rarely covers the cost of a prescription, a great means of profit for the doctor, and parents have the money to purchase the prescriptions. Parents are purchasing their children a prescription to make them better students and hopefully end up at a good university and finish with a great job. Often, this happens.
In less affluent areas, parents cannot afford the prescription, even those who have children diagnosed with ADD. These children are left to suffer from a learning disability that is conveniently treatable, while twenty year olds without the disease throw back these pills to study for the night. The less fortunate kids are unjustly left to struggle with their education on top of the all the other hardships they most likely face.
The benefits of taking a study buddy goes without saying: hours of relentless focus, rids you of fatigue and hunger, and basically allows you to be the best. But Adderrall is not available to everyone. It is available only to those who can afford it. It broadens the gap between the upper class and the middle class. It gives a distinct advantage to the rich and definitely helps them succeed. Edmund Burke, a believer of class separation, would view Adderrall and its abuse as an inevitable means for the rich to get richer and eventually help the poor. He would agree that the cost of Adderrall is appropriate because it’s only available to the rich and if the less fortunate could afford it society would fail because of a lack of upper and lower classes.
Adderrall is beneficial for those who need it, and can afford it. It is also beneficial for the Michigan student that has five hours to complete a days worth of work. With that being said do not abuse it, the addiction is never ceasing and overwhelming.