Co-created this web-exclusive editorial with the ISD Editorial Board. This piece appeared July 19th, 2012, on the Iowa State Daily website.
“Pressure” is one word that single-handedly unites college students from all walks of university life. All students have felt it, whether from their parents and peers or within their major. There is pressure to keep up, to slow down, to stay focused, to stay current and, most of all, to succeed.
This push for excellence has brought many to their breaking point. Everything students once achieved in high school all of a sudden just isn’t good enough anymore, and the pressure to do something about it can be overwhelming. Finding themselves in this situation, many students believe they’ve found a way to push their excellence to its limit using one, or sometimes two, pea-sized pills that send their mind into a utopia of concentration. Out of all this pressure a new “study drug” is born, and its name is Adderall.
Adderall is a combination of two drugs, dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, and is used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder, more commonly known as ADHD. Those who struggle with ADHD have trouble focusing and holding attention on a day-to-day basis. Adderall helps to focus those who are prescribed to take it by releasing different chemicals into the brain.
Simply put, it’s a whole lot of focus all bundled up in one small, convenient pill. This focus, however, is meant for those who are rightfully diagnosed with ADHD. Studies suggest students with ADHD are at an increased risk for academic problems, lower GPA and compromised academic coping skills. College students with ADHD tend to report more academic problems than students without the disorder.
Adderall allows those students who are given a disadvantage by this disease to keep up and be on the same level academically as those who do not have ADHD. Therefore, those students who do not in fact have ADHD, but still take Adderall to get that extra push of focus to help them academically, should be considered cheating when they pop that pill.
Like steroids are illegal for athletes to help increase their performance levels, Adderall should be considered a method of cheating when it comes to performance in the classroom, especially at the college level.