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October 21, 1987 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-21

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PAUL S. HOWELL
Confiscated cache: Mollies, crystal meth, Preludin

trouble; many use crank a few
times and walk away. The dan-
ger isn't necessarily that your
chest will explode the first
time you try speed; but, says
Mark Lanier of Charter Hospi-
tal of Columbia in Missouri, "if
you normally rely on some-
thing else to get you through a
situation-even something as
simple as NoDoz-you're cop-
ing with life with a drug."
As Klerkegaard said: Speed en-
thusiasts insist they know
their drug's power, but find it
indispensable for spurts of
high-efficiency work. "When
it's the night before the big
final you don't care about
what's going to keep you up-
you just take it," says Ellen, 20,
a UCSB sophomore. Abner
Rone, a 1987 UT grad, re-
calls feeling that speed helped
"break down barriers" when
he studied. "You feel more
alive," Rone says. "It's like
what Kierkegaard said, 'the
dizziness of freedom.' Speed
gives you that."
But does it really? Accord-
ing to drug-abuse counselors,
the feelings of insight and
alertness are generally false.
"Tasks that are creative are
not enhanced" by chemical
stimulants, insists Dr. Kath-
ryn McIntyre, a psychiatrist at
UT's Counseling and Mental
Health Center. In fact, she
says, students who pull all-
nighters with speed may end

up having an even harder time
absorbing and retrieving the
information they're trying so
desperately to master.
And for the few who get
sucked in, speed can be a hard
habit to break. "When I think
about what it means to be
wired, I think about the times I
scrubbed my bathtub at 3 in
the morning," recalls Elaine,
an honors student at a large
Southwestern university. "I
think about the typos in the
papers I wrote because I was
too shaky to type. I also think
about all the scummy people I
met .... using a straw after
them, being friendly, because
they're selling something you
want." She also remembers
sleepless nights spent "crying
and hating myself for being
so stupid."
Why has speed come back?
Says Charles Edgley, chair-
man of the Oklahoma State
sociology department: "In a
highly competitive economy,
people search for those things
that will enhance their per-
formance so they can do exact-
ly what society is driving
them to do." Society says
get ahead-almost no matter
what the cost. For many stu-
dents, stimulants are becom-
ing a potentially dangerous
part of that equation.
JACOB YOUNG with LISA BROWN
and KELLY KNOX in Austin,
ZIVA HoBSoNinStillwater, Okla.,
and bureau reports

In severe cases, burnout can
lead to clinical depression
carpenter and clothing salesman, he says, helped him realize
"why I left and why I had to come back." Now, he says, "I'm full
of energy and really excited about my classes."
Dropping out for a semester or a year was once seen by many
as a sign of weakness. Now usually called "stopping out" be-
cause the student fully intends to return, it is often actively
encouraged. But authorities also recommend less drastic steps
to alleviate stress. Academically, they suggest getting to know
your adviser well; if that's not possible, try a sympathetic
resident adviser or classmate. Class loads can be reduced or
better balanced when burnout threatens; just because you can
"proficiency out" of numerous entry-level courses, for example,
is not necessarily a reason why you should.
Develop your own study schedule, even if it seems exotic to
others. One Northwestern honors student, for example, used
to study well into the night in a neighboring broom closet
while her roommates slept-much to the consternation of the
janitors. Kathy Ellis, a sophomore English major at Notre
Dame, has decided she will only socialize on weekends. "I hear
a lot about people, mostly upperclassmen, who are at the bars
every night," Ellis says with a shrug. "But I can't go out on
weekdays. When the weekend comes, though, I feel like going
-4 r

Drowning sorrow: Alcohol causes, doesn't cure, grief
NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS 9

OCTOBER 1987

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