Adderall: Study Aid or Risky Recreation?
Sarah McQueen

As finals week rapidly approach­es, students are beginning to scramble in preparation for exams and papers, looking for anything that can offer assistance in completing the last days of the semester. One of the aids that some students turn to is Adderall.

Due to the nature of this sub­ject, the sources that were willing to talk about using Adderall wished to remain anonymous. Both anonymous sources quoted in this article are stu­dents of the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point.

“It is the most over prescribed drug there is. Some people use to get high,” said Gregor Metys, who works as a registered nurse. “Honestly, there’s not much of a health risk, but it can be addictive,” Metys said. “It is made of amphetamine and dextroam­phetamine. Both work on the central nervous system. They are stimulants. The problem is if you mix it with other things too. If you mix a stimu­lant with alcohol, it is really bad for your heart.”

For a person who has attention deficit disorder or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, the drug will help with focus and the ability to stay on task. When prescribed by a doc­tor, it can be very helpful and even necessary. One UWSP student talked about why he uses Adderall and the positive and negative effects it has.

“Well, I use it all the time since it’s prescribed to me. I don’t take more of it during finals,” this student said. “It helps increase concentration and academic stamina. I can study for longer and have better retention of the information. As far as negative side-effects go, there haven’t been too many for me, although if it’s taken too late in the day you can have trou­ble sleeping. Another issue is that you can get a little bit of state-dependent memory type issues where informa­tion learned when not on the drug is not as easily recalled.”

Taken under the wrong circum­stances, though, the drug can work against someone trying to study.

“Years ago, I had tried it recre­ationally. It did not help me study at all. It only made me more hyper and less attentive. Maybe because I don’t have ADD or ADHD. I couldn’t focus at all,” said another UWSP student.

There are ramifications beyond just the body’s physical reactions, though. Anyone who is caught with Adderall without a prescription is at serious risk for legal consequences.

“Being caught holding Adderall is a felony with a minimum penalty of one year in jail. But it’s not just Adderall. It’s any prescription drug a person is holding without a prescrip­tion,” said Sergeant Dan Wheeler of the Stevens Point Police Department. “The penalty goes up exponentially if you are caught dealing it. Then you are looking at three to five years.”