Aug 22, 2009
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So, I have to lead a discussion in a Social Problems class about the use of Adderall by college students to improve academic performance. The goal of the discussion will be to examine whether or not this is socially, morally and ethically acceptable. Since this is the first place I had heard about it I was curious to know what all of you think of this issue. What are your views?

In today's highly competitive college settings, would you equate it to cheating? Would you compare it to the use of caffeine pills?

How would you compare abuse of prescription drugs such as adderall to the abuse of "recreational drugs" such as marijuana?

Would you call the use of Adderall to improve academic performance "social deviance"?

Any other input or views that you would wish to share would be awesome! Also, if anyone knows of any sources where I could get more information on this subject, or some statistics would also be well appreciated!
 

CaptainSSO

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I don't know about outright cheating, but I would definitely call it a grey area. It's not the same as taking caffeine pills because caffeine is OTC while amphetamines are controlled...

I consider taking amphetamine salts as on par with smoking marijuana, taking other kinds of prescription pills, etc. Without a prescription, it's illegal to consume/possess.

In the end, though, it's going to keep happening and there's nothing that can be done to stop it. It's just like some people getting access to old tests that other students don't have access to--it may not be fair, but that's life and it won't change. I personally feel like amphetamines give an unfair advantage to some students, which is why I don't take them.

Plus, if you don't have ADD/ADHD, you don't need them. Hard work, persistence, and perhaps some coffee will be just fine...
 

morning

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I view adderall for studying the same way I view adderall for weight loss (which is yet another non-prescription use it has)...a terrible idea in the long run even if it works in the short term. You can cut corners as much as you want, but if you don't learn good study (or eating) habits, it will come back to haunt you. You can't be on adderall forever. Eventually you have to stop and never having learned how to adjust to your situation on your own is going to kick you in the ass.
 

jkhanh

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I won't lie, ive tried it once. it was pretty awesome. I was really concentrating on my study materials. Lol although i still didnt get that good of a grade.
 
Aug 22, 2009
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I won't lie, ive tried it once. it was pretty awesome. I was really concentrating on my study materials. Lol although i still didnt get that good of a grade.
The anonymous (or technically pseudonymous) nature of SDN is great for stuff like this. Has anyone else ever used Adderall, or any other psychostimulant for non-medical purposes?
 

loveoforganic

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Discussed ad nauseum, do some searching and you should find a few multipage threads
 

she woolf

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I don't think there is anything wrong with it. [no i've never taken it] People will do whatever it takes to get ahead. Some drink tons of coffee some hire private tutors and some sleep with the professor ;) whatever works...
 
Feb 1, 2010
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The use of Adderall certainly cannot be equated to cheating...as a matter of fact I think it is an 'easy out' for unprepared, irresponsible students who have backed themselves into a corner. I take a full course load and hold a full-time job in addition to ECs and I have never found it necessary to take Adderall. I would compare people who say they 'need' Adderall with people who say they need marijuana to relax. It's just an excuse to do something stupid. My apologies if my views are offensive...I just hate to see people slacking while I do things the hard, but right way.

So...is it socially acceptable? Probably just because college kids have pretty liberal standards. Is it ethically and/or morally acceptable? Absolutely not. Furthermore...things like Red Bull, Monster, 5-hour Energy are bogus. Either start studying earlier or put the beer bottle down and go home and start preparing for the final you have tomorrow...
 
Aug 22, 2009
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Frederick, MD
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The use of Adderall certainly cannot be equated to cheating...as a matter of fact I think it is an 'easy out' for unprepared, irresponsible students who have backed themselves into a corner. I take a full course load and hold a full-time job in addition to ECs and I have never found it necessary to take Adderall. I would compare people who say they 'need' Adderall with people who say they need marijuana to relax. It's just an excuse to do something stupid. My apologies if my views are offensive...I just hate to see people slacking while I do things the hard, but right way.

So...is it socially acceptable? Probably just because college kids have pretty liberal standards. Is it ethically and/or morally acceptable? Absolutely not. Furthermore...things like Red Bull, Monster, 5-hour Energy are bogus. Either start studying earlier or put the beer bottle down and go home and start preparing for the final you have tomorrow...
Thanks SusGob711, this is just the kind of response I'm looking for , In-depth opinions that address some of the questions I asked in the original post. However, would you care to elaborate on why you find it to be immoral or unethical?

Thanks!
 

298609

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The use of Adderall certainly cannot be equated to cheating...as a matter of fact I think it is an 'easy out' for unprepared, irresponsible students who have backed themselves into a corner. I take a full course load and hold a full-time job in addition to ECs and I have never found it necessary to take Adderall. I would compare people who say they 'need' Adderall with people who say they need marijuana to relax. It's just an excuse to do something stupid. My apologies if my views are offensive...I just hate to see people slacking while I do things the hard, but right way.

So...is it socially acceptable? Probably just because college kids have pretty liberal standards. Is it ethically and/or morally acceptable? Absolutely not. Furthermore...things like Red Bull, Monster, 5-hour Energy are bogus. Either start studying earlier or put the beer bottle down and go home and start preparing for the final you have tomorrow...
 

morning

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The anonymous (or technically pseudonymous) nature of SDN is great for stuff like this. Has anyone else ever used Adderall, or any other psychostimulant for non-medical purposes?
I've used ephedra (when it was legal) and it turned me into a horrible mess. For some reason stimulants make it harder for me to concentrate or even function. I just jitter away until it wears off. But it's still very easy to obtain...maybe they legalized it again, I'm not sure.
 
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Inappropriate Adderall use is unethical because it violates the integrity of the prescription. College kids are totally unaware of the adverse side effects and stipulations for prescription and use. Plus we are spending 11+ years to learn what we need to prescribe this stuff meanwhile a 21-year old biology major is selling the stuff like freaking twizzlers.

I suppose the reasoning behind issues of morality is very much a personal matter. Personally, I think it is immoral because a) it is not his/her prescription b) prescription trafficking/exchange is unethical c) these are future professionals: are our teachers going hand out Vicodin to a teenager with a broken arm? Are our phyisicians going to prescribe oxycotin for profit?

Just my $.02. I'll get back to you in M1 when it's 3:30 AM and I'm starting to get tired, lol.
 
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Oct 21, 2009
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The use of Adderall certainly cannot be equated to cheating...as a matter of fact I think it is an 'easy out' for unprepared, irresponsible students who have backed themselves into a corner. I take a full course load and hold a full-time job in addition to ECs and I have never found it necessary to take Adderall. I would compare people who say they 'need' Adderall with people who say they need marijuana to relax. It's just an excuse to do something stupid. My apologies if my views are offensive...I just hate to see people slacking while I do things the hard, but right way.

So...is it socially acceptable? Probably just because college kids have pretty liberal standards. Is it ethically and/or morally acceptable? Absolutely not. Furthermore...things like Red Bull, Monster, 5-hour Energy are bogus. Either start studying earlier or put the beer bottle down and go home and start preparing for the final you have tomorrow...
:thumbup::thumbup:

This is absolutely correct except for the bolded part. Energy drinks are awesome dude. They don't do **** for me, but still they taste good. Especially the blue monster!
 

298609

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Curbye: Just because I won't bend my ethics or morals because college kids think it's okay to abuse prescription drugs doesn't make me high and mighty...as a matter of fact this habit is incredibly dangerous because amateur users are unaware of the adverse side effects and stipulations of prescription and usage of Adderall. There is a reason we are going to spend 11+ years becoming qualified to prescribe this stuff.

okay, i agree with you. and when i have spent those 11+ years i will feel qualified to pass judgment on others online. :)


btw, the internet is serious, serious business.
 
Aug 22, 2009
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Frederick, MD
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Curbye: Just because I won't bend my ethics or morals because college kids think it's okay to abuse prescription drugs doesn't make me high and mighty...as a matter of fact this habit is incredibly dangerous because amateur users are unaware of the adverse side effects and stipulations of prescription and usage of Adderall. There is a reason we are going to spend 11+ years becoming qualified to prescribe this stuff.
Can you elaborate on your moral and ethic dilemmas with using psychostimulents to improve focus and performance? Other than the legality that is.

EDIT: Whoops! Just saw your previous post! Sorry!



Also, to those of you who are spreading douchbaggery, I asked for opinions, please don't antagonize anyone for their thoughts.........
 
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auburnO5

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The anonymous (or technically pseudonymous) nature of SDN is great for stuff like this. Has anyone else ever used Adderall, or any other psychostimulant for non-medical purposes?
I used Adderall all the time in college, and I even got my own prescription. I think that it definitely gives you an advantage, at least in the short term. By my junior year though I pretty much hated the stuff though (the side effects suck) so I quit using it.
 
Aug 22, 2009
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I used Adderall all the time in college, and I even got my own prescription. I think that it definitely gives you an advantage, at least in the short term. By my junior year though I pretty much hated the stuff though (the side effects suck) so I quit using it.
So, then I take it that you have no moral or ethical qualms with the use of it for academic improvement?

Would you say that it is socially deviant behaviour or an accepted norm?

Also, if you don't mind my asking, have you used any other drugs for non-traditional uses?
 

auburnO5

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So, then I take it that you have no moral or ethical qualms with the use of it for academic improvement?
No, I have no ethical qualms with it. I can see how some people might consider it cheating, but I don't. You still have to put in the study time.

Would you say that it is socially deviant behaviour or an accepted norm?
I would say that it is definitely an accepted norm. I can't even tell you how many people would come to me and ask for Adderall (I never gave any of it out though). But then again I can also see how some people would consider it socially deviant behavior with it being a controlled drug and all.


Also, if you don't mind my asking, have you used any other drugs for non-traditional uses?
No. But I will say that I do use marijuana the traditional way on occasion.
 

rxlea

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Adderall is so last decade. Modafinil is in. To the poster above about docs prescribing the stuff inappropriately: happens all the time. Pharmacists see it everyday whether it's adderall, provigil, oxys, vicodins, etc. When I worked in retail, there was one doctor that was notorious for his overt abuse of prescribing power. Others were much more subtle. And I tell you what, it sure took a lot to even bring about a formal investigation. As for college students misusing and/or abusing it, sure you can say it is immoral blahblah. But, let's not forget that caffeine (and pseudoephedrine-also OTC) are drugs. Perhaps not regulated but CNS stimulants nonetheless. You can argue that those slamming 4 starbucks down with 4 espresso shots each have an "advantage" over those who are not. Personally, caffeine gives me headaches. I don't consume it now but I sure as hell did during undergrad. When someone is working full-time and taking a full courseload in addition to all those bloody EC's that are required to get through the hoops on your way to professional school, it seems "douchebaggy" to condemn them and say they are immoral people. You have to admit, adcoms expect the impossible (or damn near close to it). A little provigil or adderall definitely helps. The problem is with diversion and people selling it at school. People might have allergic reactions or the drug might interact with something that they are already taking. This can cause harm and/or death. Very dangerous. If you're going to use that crap, just get a valid prescription. Then people can't say anything about it.
 

298609

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Adderall is so last decade. Modafinil is in. To the poster above about docs prescribing the stuff inappropriately: happens all the time. Pharmacists see it everyday whether it's adderall, provigil, oxys, vicodins, etc. When I worked in retail, there was one doctor that was notorious for his overt abuse of prescribing power. Others were much more subtle. And I tell you what, it sure took a lot to even bring about a formal investigation. As for college students misusing and/or abusing it, sure you can say it is immoral blahblah. But, let's not forget that caffeine (and pseudoephedrine-also OTC) are drugs. Perhaps not regulated but CNS stimulants nonetheless. You can argue that those slamming 4 starbucks down with 4 espresso shots each have an "advantage" over those who are not. Personally, caffeine gives me headaches. I don't consume it now but I sure as hell did during undergrad. When someone is working full-time and taking a full courseload in addition to all those bloody EC's that are required to get through the hoops on your way to professional school, it seems "douchebaggy" to condemn them and say they are immoral people. You have to admit, adcoms expect the impossible (or damn near close to it). A little provigil or adderall definitely helps. The problem is with diversion and people selling it at school. People might have allergic reactions or the drug might interact with something that they are already taking. This can cause harm and/or death. Very dangerous. If you're going to use that crap, just get a valid prescription. Then people can't say anything about it.


excellent. :thumbup:
 

NerdyAndrea

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Ritalin, Adderall, any of those, I don't think they should be used without a prescription. I recently was prescribed the drug for legitimate purposes. A lot of people who use it without the need for prescription say it makes you go go go study study study.

Well, I was self treating and taking caffeine pills for a long time. It seemed they were the only thing that kind of uncluttered my thoughts a bit, and made me go to sleep on time.

For me I don't get this rush or this feeling of the ability to stay up forever, in fact it's nice to be a bit calmer, and be able to get my homework done without chasing what I call rabbit trail thoughts, what used to take 4 hours now takes 2, meaning I atually go to bed at night. I have a very low dose of it.

I see it used by people that don't need it, and some of them freak out, or have other adverse reactions, there's a terrible rash associated with the medication, and I've seen that on people too. It's horrible and sometimes turns into terrible blisters. It's very hard on a persons system whether legitimate or not. Caffeine pills 2 -3 of them in a day is not a fabulous way of surviving either, that's really bad on your system too.

I know you are talking to people that used it illegally, but I'm hoping hat maybe a bit of education about the medication will help them make an informed decision. I think that for those of us that need it, when people use it, and don't need it, there's always the chance that the focus becomes all these people on drugs.

Frankly, I don't care what people want to use to get ahead. For me it only raises me to normal function. I can't know how it affects people that don't truly need it. If they want to use it, then do so, but be aware of the side effects, and what can happen. Educate yourself before you put anything in your body that's going to change your cognitive function.
 

anfleisch

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Other than the obvious potential for negative medical effects, the obvious social problem is the kids who have their insurance company purchase the pills and then they sell them to their friends for 10 bucks or whatever price per pill. I myself cannot take adderall because I get tunnel vision, but I am surprised some people have not heard even heard of this. I would say more students have used adderall just for studying than have not. Which is obviously a bold statement, but it just seems so prevalent. But I would also guess that it is much less of a problem in premedical students, since we usually have less of a problem motivating ourselves to study and focus on our work. Many of my friends cannot study without popping an adderall.
 

rxlea

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Other than the obvious potential for negative medical effects, the obvious social problem is the kids who have their insurance company purchase the pills and then they sell them to their friends for 10 bucks or whatever price per pill. I myself cannot take adderall because I get tunnel vision, but I am surprised some people have not heard even heard of this. I would say more students have used adderall just for studying than have not. Which is obviously a bold statement, but it just seems so prevalent. But I would also guess that it is much less of a problem in premedical students, since we usually have less of a problem motivating ourselves to study and focus on our work. Many of my friends cannot study without popping an adderall.
You're joking right? About the pre med students not having to pop adderall because they are more motivated? Seriously? :rofl:
 

ReptarBar

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it's not cheating...it's just illegal. just because it happens to relate to concentration -> studying -> grades doesn't mean it's cheating.
 

anfleisch

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I do think motivation plays a role, at least for me. Some students rely on the pills cause they don't think they can do the work without it. Just from experience with the attitudes of my friends.
 

zeppelinpage4

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A friend of mine tried it a few times in high school, after seeing what it did for him I've pretty much been put off from even trying them.

Although it really does help with concentration (my friend could study for a length of time that just didn't seem humanly possible). It also seems to carry some unpleasant side affects. I recall him telling me that during the whole study session he'd lose his appetite and would not be tired. Lack of food and sleep to me just aren't worth it.

No grade, or short cut to that grade is worth negatively affecting my health.

That's more of a personal view of course, as to whether it's wrong or not I'm in no position to say. If others feel that they need them to get through school then so be it. Everyone uses what they can do get ahead including myself. However I really don't think it's beneficial in the long run just as morning said.
 
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So, I have to lead a discussion in a Social Problems class about the use of Adderall by college students to improve academic performance. The goal of the discussion will be to examine whether or not this is socially, morally and ethically acceptable. Since this is the first place I had heard about it I was curious to know what all of you think of this issue. What are your views?

In today's highly competitive college settings, would you equate it to cheating? Would you compare it to the use of caffeine pills?
As someone else already mentioned, you still have to do the work so no, I don't consider it cheating.

If one takes it for its intended use, I don't think there is a comparison at all. The effects of stimulants on someone who legitimately has add/adhd are not the same as the effects of caffeine on someone who does not. I do think the percentage of people who legitimately need it bears no relation to the percentage of people who have a prescription. Getting a prescription for Adderall couldn't be easier so I'm rolling my eyes at the pious assertion of some that having a prescription is somehow a reflection of actual need. If your morality is judicially determined, you have far bigger problems to worry about than Adderall use and abuse.

How would you compare abuse of prescription drugs such as adderall to the abuse of "recreational drugs" such as marijuana?
Abuse is abuse, what constitutes abuse for one person doesn't necessarily apply to the next. Using does not = abusing. But if you think having a prescription somehow negates personal responsibility, you are truly a moron.

Would you call the use of Adderall to improve academic performance "social deviance"?
Nope. I think alcohol abuse, and the generally **** nutritional profile of the typical student diet are far more detrimental to health and performance than probably every other "deviant" behavior combined.

Any other input or views that you would wish to share would be awesome! Also, if anyone knows of any sources where I could get more information on this subject, or some statistics would also be well appreciated!
I always find the need of certain people to impose their morality on others both sickening and fascinating. Feeling cheated because someone else did this or that is like giving a **** how much someone else studied to get an A. If people spent half the time focusing on what they need to be doing rather than what everyone else is doing they'd likely find themselves much further ahead.

Take Adderall or don't. Study or don't. Be adult enough to accept the consequences of your own decisions. But, I won't know either way because I'm too busy minding my own business to try and dictate what you should be doing with yours.

("you" generally collective, not specifically directive.)
 

dokein

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I am concerned about the overall societal impact if Adderall's long term effects turn out to be pretty horrible, and a large proportion of people took it, but it is each person's personal choice. Not my problem.

I think it's questionable whether an undergraduate who takes loads of Adderall in order to get into medical school is mentally fit for the profession of medical, but so is people on caffeine IV drips. Again, not my problem.
 
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Adderall is so last decade. Modafinil is in. To the poster above about docs prescribing the stuff inappropriately: happens all the time. Pharmacists see it everyday whether it's adderall, provigil, oxys, vicodins, etc. When I worked in retail, there was one doctor that was notorious for his overt abuse of prescribing power. Others were much more subtle. And I tell you what, it sure took a lot to even bring about a formal investigation.
You're absolutely right, prescription privilege misuse happens everyday...but that doesn't make it okay. Keep in mind that some of these prescriptions written for profit, i.e. oxycontin, are highly addictive substances. At what point do we become accountable for the soul-consumming, family shattering, full-blown drug addictions we fuel? As for Adderall, at what point to diligent students become relient on the drug for his/her success? Yes, my view is probably the worst case scenario but how will these students be coping when they are pullling 80+ hour weeks during residency? Unfortunately, it only gets harder.
 

psipsina

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Drug abuse is inherently dangerous. Anytime you are using a drug that you don't need to correct a physiologic defect, and without the monitoring of a physician you are walking dangerously close if not over the line of abuse. I have ADD (not diagnosed until medschool) and I encourage anyone who feels like they can't make it without stimulants to seek an actual medical opinion, you might really have a learning disability and could benefit from correction of the physiologic defect. I also know someone from who abused adderall, they ended up escalating their dose to counter tolerance again and again until they took so much that she caused irreversible damage to their body that will affect them for the rest of their life. Thankfully that was a wakeup call and they are now drug free but there are risks when you abuse drugs (even prescription drugs which some mistakenly view as benign).
 

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she woolf

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Oh god! people and their stupid high and mighty attitudes! Drugs are bad mmkay:smuggrin: we get it. Like someone else said, these people STILL have to study JUST LIKE YOU. They take it to concentrate so they can STUDY LIKE YOU. People are only making a fuss because it's illegal. If the gov. legalized it today would people give a **** still? HEY alcohol is illegal to people not 21 but how many of you still drank? OH THE IMMORAL/UNETHICAL HORROR :eek: Don't think because you busted your as$ without drugs that you are somehow better than the person that used adderall to concentrate so they could study.
 
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Oh god! people and their stupid high and mighty attitudes! Drugs are bad mmkay:smuggrin: we get it. Like someone else said, these people STILL have to study JUST LIKE YOU. They take it to concentrate so they can STUDY LIKE YOU. People are only making a fuss because it's illegal. If the gov. legalized it today would people give a **** still? HEY alcohol is illegal to people not 21 but how many of you still drank? OH THE IMMORAL/UNETHICAL HORROR :eek: Don't think because you busted your as$ without drugs that you are somehow better than the person that used adderall to concentrate so they could study.
Um yeah it does mean so. HAHA.
 

psipsina

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Oh god! people and their stupid high and mighty attitudes! Drugs are bad mmkay:smuggrin: we get it. Like someone else said, these people STILL have to study JUST LIKE YOU. They take it to concentrate so they can STUDY LIKE YOU. People are only making a fuss because it's illegal. If the gov. legalized it today would people give a **** still? HEY alcohol is illegal to people not 21 but how many of you still drank? OH THE IMMORAL/UNETHICAL HORROR :eek: Don't think because you busted your as$ without drugs that you are somehow better than the person that used adderall to concentrate so they could study.
If you have an actual learning disability and need it to be able to concentrate l"just like everyone else" you can obtain it LEGALLY. The threshold to getting a prescription is very very low, its not that hard folks. Its not about being better/worse, its about being safe.
 

parafilm

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Eh. I've used it a few times.

First of all, I think people play up the whole "it's cheating!" thing, but it's not like the stuff gives you superpowers. It didn't make me smarter, it doesn't make me magically learn organic mechanisms just by looking at them, it doesn't give me photographic memory. It really just feels like the best caffeine you've ever had... you can sit down, study for about 3 hours without break, stop for 10 minutes to go buy water since it dehydrates you, and then go back and study another 3 straight hours. While the endurance I get from it is awesome, it doesn't make me learn better, it just makes me able to study longer, stay focused, and thus get through more material. But, I can do these marathon study days with a few sources of caffeine and taking more study breaks, which is why I don't regularly take the stuff. It's great, but it's not magic.

Whether you think it's immoral/cheating is just personal opinion. I realize there will always be people in my classes who take it, and they'll be affecting my curve, but if I've studied effectively and for enough time, I'm just as prepared as someone who has put in the time/effort while on adderall.

Oof, I've continued the beating of dead horses.
 
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she woolf

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Um yeah it does mean so. HAHA.
Uhm..I don't think so.:rolleyes: It just means that you are better at concetrating than the person that needed adderall to do the same exact thing. [im not talking about the people that use it cuz they're lazy]
 

she woolf

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If you have an actual learning disability and need it to be able to concentrate l"just like everyone else" you can obtain it LEGALLY. The threshold to getting a prescription is very very low, its not that hard folks. Its not about being better/worse, its about being safe.

I agree :thumbup:
 
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Uhm..I don't think so.:rolleyes: It just means that you are better at concetrating than the person that needed adderall to do the same exact thing. [im not talking about the people that use it cuz they're lazy]
You said it yourself. Thanks for proving my point. :laugh:
 

Marcus Brody

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Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines

 

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I was prescribed with ADD about a month and a half ago and prescribed adderall. I am also about to start studying for the MCAT. I did not see the Psychiatrist with the intention to get medication, but more so to get an honest professional opinion about whether I needed it or not because I'd always had issues concentrating. It really seems to help me and I take about half of the maximum daily recommended dosage. Though, this thread and some others still makes me feel like the doctor may have prescribed it just because I inquired about my condition and that I'm doing something wrong and could adversely affect my ability to learn in the long run. Any advice?
 

planktonelement

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5+ Year Member
Apr 7, 2009
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Medical Student
I've never used Adderall, but I have talked to a few people who have. The general consensus I've heard is that it helps you "focus" but your creativity and intuition are hampered. So it might be okay for memorizing some random facts or writing a straightforward review of something, but it won't help you learn concepts or come up with a good thesis for a paper. To me, that doesn't seem all that useful.