I have an extra Adderall. Do you want it?

In Other on March 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Adderall XRThese were the words I heard walking to my first class today.

The girl offering the pill then proceeded to give a litany of advice, sort of a combination between a pharmaceutical commercial and a doctor, albeit a completely unqualified one.

“It’s XR so it lasts longer. But I like to split it into portions. But don’t take it at night. But you want it right?”

Thought she sounded completely confident in the drug and her role as pseudo-medico, my first thought was that she missed a key question: Was her friend on any other drugs?

I can’t help but remember that Heath Ledger, one among many victims of senseless deaths, died of a lethal drug interaction. That sounds a little too melodramatic, but really, how does a college undergrad know how to dose her friends?

Pre-med knows best?

Adderall: Can't pass without itI thought a senior pre-med student might have a better understanding of the risks associated with under-the-table, co-ed prescription, but that’s not the case.

Before class last week, I overheard a guy talking about his stomach hurting intensely after taking an Adderall to study. Even through work he complained he was in pain and competely wired.

The pre-med replied that was just one of the side affects of the Adderall XR she gave him. She bragged that since she had been taking Adderall since she was a child, it didn’t affect her that way any more. At this point, she doesn’t even like to drive without it because she feels completely unfocused.

Full disclosure

Okay, so I know this is getting ranty and one-sided, but this is the only side I haven’t heard on campus.

When I arrived, I still had some sort of WB stereotype stuck in my head that there is a certain type of student that uses Adderall without a prescription to study or for recreation purposes.

Not true. Sorority sisters, club presidents, pre-med and med students, telecomm students, good students and bad students.

Full disclosure: yeah, I was kind of raised by an ex-hippie. So I took antibiotics when I needed to, but that was it. I had my first Tylenol at 21. But I don’t pretend to be some sort of health saint.

The real problem

The two things that bother me are: (1) Controlled substances that are so named because they are dangerous are not controlled at all. (2) Why are classes designed to make people feel like they can’t learn them without being wired, stoned or high?

I don’t really know what to do about one. I think it comes down to a cultural, social and psychological change. Obviously people are trying to be helpful and who would hold out with with a friend? But, I have little faith in psychopharma and wouldn’t care if it disappeared all together. Short of that, can people stop giving away their prescriptions?

The bigger issue is that students feel distracted, unfocused and confused because the material isn’t clear or they are studying it wrong. People are liable to feel distracted if they have no real understanding of the key words of a subject.

I’m taking a Plant Ecology course now where I experience all of the above. There is just too much material to go through with a dictionary and a fine-toothed comb. There were no prerequisites to this course but there really should have been. I understand it sucks, and I hate having to force myself through it.

Bottom line, I want my friends to be healthy, and I want my university to teach me something. Things are falling a little short these days.


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