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September 04, 2018 - Image 27

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

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The University of Michigan has
an Adderall problem. Some would
even call it an epidemic. Despite the
University’s increased campaign
to recognize mental health on
campus, it has failed to address
how campus culture fosters the
use of Adderall throughout the
school. As students become more
entrenched in the popular “work
hard, play hard” mentality that
grips much of the student body,
they turn to Adderall to achieve the
academic and social success that
this campus covets. A recent survey
by The Daily found that 24 percent
of University students use Adderall,
and a 2008 study of 1,800 students
found that as much as 81 percent of
college students think that Adderall
usage is not dangerous at all or
only slightly dangerous, despite
the fact that the consequences of
the illicit use of the drug sit right
next to those of cocaine, meth and
morphine. However, despite the
prevalence of the drug, there is a
dearth of University resources to
educate or help students that are
grappling with its repercussions.
To remedy this gap in
resources, the University must
increase funding for Counseling
and Psychological Services and
advertise services provided by
Addiction Treatment Services
through Michigan Medicine. Over
90 percent of students who use
Adderall use it for the purpose
of concentrating while studying.
These students do not realize
the potential negative effects of
the drug: notably, its high risk of
dependency and potentially lethal
consequences if used with other
drugs and alcohol. With such a
large percentage of students using
Adderall without a prescription,
it is important that the University
provides students with addiction
The presence of Adderall at the
University is almost expected.
Whether prescribed or non-
prescribed, Adderall is a normalized
part of campus culture; people try
it, use it and depend on it. Though
freshmen entrance programs like
Haven or AlcoholEdu exist to
raise awareness on the dangers of

alcohol consumption and addiction,
there is no campus-wide campaign
that addresses the overwhelming
prevalence of Adderall at the
University. Consequently, most
students don’t know much about
the drug, and view it through a
destigmatized, distorted lens.
Because it is considered customary
and is easy to acquire, most students
don’t realize the medical, legal and
moral implications of taking or
selling the drug.
Adderall is classified as a
Schedule II drug by the Drug
Enforcement Administration,
which means that it maintains
a “high potential for abuse,
with use potentially leading to
severe psychological or physical
dependence.” It ranks higher than
drugs like Xanax, which is Schedule
IV, and is at an equal level with
cocaine, another Schedule II drug.
In addition to its addiction level,
Adderall can spur painful side
effects, from insomnia to paranoia.
In an interview with the Daily, one
student reported that “if I took it at
any acute dose, it would just kind
of cause chest discomfort and keep
me from sleeping, and I couldn’t get
anything done because the chest
pain would make me panic.”
Along with medical issues,
Adderall dealing and use can lead
to harsh legal consequences. The
length and weight of penalties vary,
but according to Michigan law,
distribution of Adderall illegally is
considered a felony and can lead
to serious jail time. Despite this,
Adderall dealing doesn’t have
the same image as other drug
trafficking. On campus, it’s as easy
as texting someone in your hall for
a pill or two. There are no back-
alley deals, and oftentimes, money
isn’t even involved. Because it is
destigmatized and bred from an
intense, competitive school culture,
giving someone Adderall may
appear to be helpful, not harmful.
To some, the need to succeed
outweighs the legal risks. Another
student interviewed by The Daily
reflected on her Adderall use by
saying “I never really thought
about it as being illegal to be honest
… I feel like a lot of people who
don’t have ADD (Attention-deficit
disorder) are prescribed Adderall
and I don’t think it’s like taking

a Prozac or something that is so
mentally altering … I don’t think of
it as, ‘Oh, this is like a drug.’” Many
students at the University echo
this mentality subliminally, and by
forgetting the legal implications of
selling Adderall, we only add to its
normalization on campus.
The perception of Adderall tends
to lack the severity that we ascribe
to other performance-enhancing
drugs. Adderall has proven to
improve students’ performance
in rote memory forms of learning
tasks, especially over several days
or longer, acting as a performance
enhancer for exams and tests that
require intensive memorization.
This can be especially impactful
in classes in which performance
relies on rote learning. When
the difference in letter grade
is significantly changed by the
number of concentrated hours one’s
mind can dedicate to memorizing
in relation to others in their class,
Adderall acts as a medically induced
upper hand.

The widespread and
academically motivated use of
Adderall on campus can make it
easy to forget what exactly it is: a
drug. Much like other drugs aimed
at enhancing abilities, whether
mental or physical, Adderall
presents its users with a moral
choice. Adderall’s aid of certain
academic abilities is one of its
innate qualities, and students at
the University should recognize
as much. For those who view this
issue as inconsequential, this
much should be remembered: All
students, Adderall users or not, play
on the same academic field. Thus,
we all feel the tilt brought about by
Adderall, whether it pushes us up
or down.
Though Adderall is commonly
used in academic settings, it is also
prevalent in the college party scene
as a complement to alcohol. The
focus of the University’s efforts
to curtail dangerous behavior
has been mostly targeted toward
alcohol. However, the recent

increase of mixing the “study
drug” with alcohol should provoke
concern because of the possibility
of dangerous and unpredictable
First of all, the University should
take care to educate students on
the chemical differences between
Adderall and alcohol. Adderall,
on the one hand, is a powerful
central nervous system stimulant
that increases the availability of
excitatory neurotransmitters in
areas of the brain that deal with
focus, energy and alertness. On
the other hand, alcohol is a central
nervous system depressant that
inhibits the function of excitatory
The mixing of Adderall and
alcohol then has two discernible
effects: those in the short term and
in the long term. The short-term
effects stem from the unpredictable
nature of their combination. One
minute someone could be within
their limit of alcohol intake, and
the next they could be suffering

from seizures or heart failure as
a result of the capricious cocktail
of medication plus alcohol. In
the long term, a person’s quality
of life can suffer from mixed
use. A recent study found that
simultaneous use of non-medical
prescription stimulants and alcohol
by undergraduates was associated
with low grade point averages, use
of other substances and increased
alcohol-related consequences.
The group at the highest risk for
Adderall abuse is college students,
and therefore the University has
an obligation to educate its student
population on the consequences.
The consumption of Adderall is
not only widespread, but students
have also become desensitized to
its possible severity. To counteract
this trend, a possible addition to the
AlcoholEdu program of a freshman
seminar on the use of unprescribed
medication in academic and
recreational settings could be a
positive step forward for student
safety and security.

The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Fall 2018 — 11C

Let’s talk about Adderall

A letter to my
freshman self

thought college would be a simple
continuation of what I had been
doing, but, you know, different.
That wasn’t right at all; well, for
the most part, anyways. My first
semester was through the Summer
Bridge Scholars Program and in a
way it was like high school. We had
predetermined classes at set times
and we all got to know each other
pretty well. Classes started at 8:30
every morning and there were two
lunch periods. Kind of like high
school but, you know, different.
As I conclude my second year
at the University of Michigan, I
would like to reflect back on my
time here, what has led me up to
this point and what I wish I had
done differently. If I could write
a letter to my high school self,
reminiscing on how I screwed
up or the times I didn’t know any
better, it would probably start
with something along the lines of
“Dear Me, you have no clue what
you’re getting into,” or maybe more
like “Dear Dumbass, please try
harder.” After that first summer,
I was overconfident, unprepared
and just straight-up not ready for
Flash forward to fall semester
freshman year and I actually had
to pick my own classes (which
I had never done before) and
basically decide what I wanted
to do with the rest of my life.
Ambitious as ever, I signed up
for the earliest class times and, as
a hopeful Engineering transfer,
thought it would be a splendid idea
to take all the core classes at once
(Engineering 100, Chemistry and
Calculus). To top it off, I also took
the LSA language requirement as I
was still an LSA student.
I wish someone would have
given me a reality check about
what college was really like. Being
a first-generation student, I wasn’t
able to consult my parents in

regard to how I was supposed to
go about the whole college thing.In
high school, I never thought very
highly of those who dropped out
of college, but I wish I had taken
the time to ask why they did. After
that fall semester I was seriously
considering taking some time off
myself. College sucked, man.
I have now been able to settle
into college and I feel much more
confident in my ability to manage
the work involved, but if it hadn’t
been for the high expectations of
my family and friends, I might be
flipping burgers for a living right
now. I thought I was alone in my
situation, but I later found out
that this was not the case. In fact,
according to the First Generation
generation students leave college
within six years without a degree”
and, “More than a quarter leave
after their first year.”
If I could write a letter to myself,
knowing what I know now, it
would probably look something
like this:
Dear idiot, dumbass me,
First and foremost, you are done
with high school. It’s over. Please
don’t go out partying if you have
homework to do. Yes, even if it’s
the weekend and all your friends
are going. Stop procrastinating
and do not prioritize a social life
over school because you are really
going to kill my GPA, dude. Second,
please take a more manageable
course load, especially in your
first semester, because you will
have me considering dropping out,
for goodness sake. And last, but
definitely not least, sit down and
take some time to think about your
future. Plan out what classes you
need to take and how you are going
to go about taking them. Talk to an
advisor if you need to (just do it,
man) — they are way smarter than
you. Oh, and that schedule thing
that you thought you were too
good for? Well use it, idiot: it’s so
much more helpful than you know.


Confessions of a closeted rosshole

It really is a daunting task,
deciding your career path at the
ripe old age of 18. It has been
over a year since I found out I
was accepted into the University
of Michigan as well as the Ross
School of Business. At the time,
I remember thinking everyone
knew what they were going to
study in the fall. Little did I know,
that many people will change their
minds at least once, if not twice, in
college. With so much excitement
joining the U-M community, I
didn’t realize it came with a whole
new platform for college memes.
The punchline for a lot of these
jokes, however, involves business
majors or – as we’re known on
campus – Rossholes.
I’m what you might refer to as
a “closeted” Rosshole. I applied
to the Business School without
any rhyme or reason and, to
my surprise, was accepted. I

remember being ecstatic until
I realized the reputation that
being in Ross carries on this
campus. STEM majors scoff at
you and you can’t exactly bond
with other non-STEM majors
because, you know, capitalism. As
a freshman with absolutely no idea
what the stock market is and an
inability to pretend I understood
how Wall Street worked, this was
particularly confusing to me. What
exactly is the stigma surrounding
the B.B.A.? What exactly made me
a “Rosshole?”
Honestly, to truly define what
campus deems a Rosshole, you have
to go to the meme pages. There, you
can find the meaning of Rosshole
clear as day. First, you have to be
someone who incessantly talks
about the fact that they’re in the
Business School. Then, obviously,
comes the Canada Goose jackets.
Can’t be a true Rosshole without it.
The overall effect is just a stuck-up
person who will end up with some
kind of fancy internship – that they

may or may not deserve – doing
something they don’t particularly
understand that will eventually get
them a lot of money. Kind of mind-
boggling, no?
I can totally see why the rest
of the school hates business
students so much. The building
its namesake, Stephen M. Ross,
to enhance the already-garish
façade on East University Avenue.
Meanwhile, across campus, other
departments may be struggling to
find funding. It is infuriating. It is,
wait for it, capitalism.
With this mindset, I entered
divulge the fact that I was in the
Business School, which, let me
tell you, was very difficult. The
first two questions you get when
meeting someone new anywhere
on this campus is, “What are you
studying?” and, as a freshman,
“Where are you living?” Both
of these questions posed issues
because I was in the
Cook. Both of these
interesting responses. I
learned how to explain
away the funny looks I
got when I said I lived in
the all-girls dorm with
a severe reputation by
mentioning it’s actually
a really nice place to
live, but that’s another
story for another time.
How did I deal with
answering the major
question? I had a couple
of solutions, both of
annoying and equally
harder to deal with than
if I had just said I was
in the Business School.
I learned if I asked the
question first – bam – I
could tailor my answer
to whatever they said:
“Oh, you’re in Ross?
Me too!” or “Not in

Ross? Okay then, I am in LSA and
The whole “LSA and undecided”
answer worked really well until
I went to go fill out forms or
people started to get more curious
about my class schedule. The
Business School isn’t part of LSA
and business students are not
undecided because they receive
a B.B.A. Super specific, I know.
Anyways, I would forget about the
whole B.B.A. thing because I was
so determined to ignore the fact
that I was in the Business School.
I’ll admit it, I was ashamed.
The first five months of the
school year, a long time for a school
that gets out in April, were awful. I
treaded lightly when I met people,
not knowing whether or not being
a business student would somehow
affect our possible friendship.
Spoiler alert: it didn’t. I put so
much emphasis on the negative
aspect of the fact that I was in Ross
that I didn’t look at the bright side.
I’m in Ross. Some people would kill
to be in my position.
I didn’t appreciate that until
the middle of winter term. I
think it had to do with the fact
that I was in denial about not
being a STEM major. The people
with which I surround myself
are all pre-med or some kind
of biochemical science major
taking organic chemistry their
first year while I sat around
doing ethics case studies. Both
are super interesting, it’s just
that, for a long time, I didn’t
understand the weight of what
I was studying, didn’t think it
was as “academic” as, say, doing a
chemistry lab.
I think one of the biggest
reasons I didn’t feel comfortable
with my standing in the Business
School was that I have no idea
what I want to do with my life.
Do I want to go into health-care?
Do I want to manage a hedge
fund? Do I want to somehow do
both? These questions continue to
plague me, but a business degree
is at least start in some kind of
direction. So, yeah, maybe I am a
Rosshole after all.

Graduate transfer guard Jaaron Simmons has waited his entire life to play in the NCAA

Summer Editorial Page Editor

Michigan Daily Editorial Board

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