The New York Times ran an article last Sunday about the growing trend of students abusing prescription drugs for academic advantages which we posted about earlier this week. Following the publication of the article, the author invited students to submit personal stories of the abuse of prescription drugs for academic advantage, The Times received almost 200 submissions. While a majority focused on the prevalence of these drugs on college campuses, many wrote about their increasing appearance in high schools, the focus of the article. They posted about 30 of the submissions, almost all written by current high school students or recent graduates.
In often vivid detail — snorting their own pills, stealing pills from friends — the students described an issue that they found upsetting, valuable, dangerous and, above all else, real. Most of them claimed that it was a problem rooted not in drugs per se, but with the pressure that compelled some youngsters to use them.
Here are two excerpts:
Let me say first off that I take full responsibility in choosing to take Adderall as a study drug. It definitely helped me get good grades during finals, but plenty of students get good grades without it, and I would understand if somebody in my classes felt cheated because I took it.
That being said, the immense pressure put on students by parents and educators has made taking speed a socially acceptable thing. I come from a family that gets disappointed and chews me out for B’s or even B+’s and A-’s. My whole life I’ve been told that, no matter how smart I am, the only way to be successful (see: acceptable) is through academic excellence. Now, would my parents be upset that I’ve taken study drugs? Probably, and that’s just symptomatic of the problem.
I’m sick of the expectation of a “perfect” kid. The parents and educators in this article who express shock at kids using study drugs ought to look in the mirror; they are equally responsible. College is harder to get into today than it was and it is much more stressful and difficult once you get in. Change your unrealistic expectations or take the My Kid is an Honor Student bumper sticker off your minivan. Male, 20 Los Angeles
My first expierence was in January of this year. A bunch of kids in my school kept talking about adderall but I wasn’t sure what it did exactly. All I knew was they were in the zone all day! Around midterm time I realized It was crucial for me to pass, but I didn’t have the motivation to study. I decided to try some adderall. They were cheap, 2 dollars a pill for 10mg. I got 6. I took 2 before a test, on the bus ride to school. Within 15 minutes I could feel it. My music started to be so much more entertaining and everyone on the bus wasn’t so annoying to me anymore. I felt unstoppable. As soon as I got to school I was READY for my tests. I aced all of them, almost effortlessly. Things I didn’t even know I knew, I wrote about them for pages. It was crazy. I began to take adderall every day. Soon I started puking for no reason, I had no appetite, I couldn’t sleep. It took over my life and made me miserable, but I kept going back for more. Eventually the kid I bought from got caught up in school, and no longer gets the prescription which In a way I am very thankful for. I was going down the wrong path. Finals are this week and I can’t lie, i do want some more, but the fear of going down that path again scares me. Female, 17, Middletown, NY
Read more: Click below.the original article from New York Times, written by Alan Schwarz