adderall advantage Essay

1451 Words Jan 21st, 2014 6 Pages
Drug Abuse in College - New York Times

Page 1 of 3

July 31, 2005

The Adderall Advantage

IT was finals week at Columbia University and Angela needed a miracle. Like many of her classmates,
Angela, a bleary-eyed junior, had already pulled a pair of all-nighters to get through a paper on
"Finnegans Wake," a French test and an exam for her music humanities class. All that remained was a
Latin American literature final, but as midnight approached, her stamina was beginning to fade. "This week is killing me," she said, taking a cigarette break in front of the school library. "At this point, I could use a little help."
Thanks to a friend, the tiny orange pill in her purse would provide the needed miracle.
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The demand during exam week can get intense, said Libby, who, like most people interviewed for this article, asked that her last name be withheld. "I'm constantly being bombarded with requests," she said. "People can get desperate."
She said that the attitude toward stimulants has changed drastically since her days in elementary school, when she was forced by her parents to down a daily regimen of Ritalin. "As a kid, I was made to feel different for taking these drugs," she said. "Now it's almost cool to take them."
Many mental health counselors point out that the proliferation of analeptics on college campuses is partly a matter of demographics. The hundreds of thousands of children who were diagnosed with
A.D.H.D. and attention deficit disorder in the early 1990's are now entering college, and bringing their drugs with them. Libby, for one, takes them only to pull through the occasional paper. "It really messes with my head," she said, adding that in the past the medication has intensified underlying obsessivecompulsive habits.
Some experts, while fretting about the use of analeptics without a prescription, see the advent and acceptance of the drugs as a great revolution that has helped a generation of children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Dr. Robert Herman, a staff psychiatrist at the University of
Maryland, College Park, says he regularly sees students whose grade point averages rise markedly after taking the

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