By Jenni Whalen

Senior Writer

Despite the fact that there are strict rules regarding Adderall prescriptions and distribution, there is a large culture of recreational use of the drug on campus.

Many students who are prescribed Adderall either sell or abuse the drug, seeing it as more of an opportunity to get high than a study aid.

“Is there elicit use of these prescriptions on this campus? Absolutely, yes,” said Dr. Don Stechschulte, director of Student Health Services.

“Several of my friends who do not have prescriptions have snorted Adderall to study, rather than just taking the pill,” an anonymous student said. “The demand for it is especially high during exam time.”

In addition to its prescribed use, many students choose to use the drug on a purely recreational basis to increase levels of focus during finals and midterms. Some students also use Adderall as an “upper” when they go to parties.

“For five dollars, I can find it at any time, any place on campus, be it for studying or recreational use. It’s everywhere here,” said another student who also chose to remain anonymous.

Adderall, a drug which combines dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, controls symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children. According to Stechschulte, the number of Americans with attention deficit disorders has grown exponentially over the last 15 years.

Students cannot acquire an initial prescription for ADHD medication from the Psychological Services or Student Health Services offices on campus; they must be diagnosed by a family doctor. Once the student arrives at the University, he or she is required to sign a contract regarding the obligations of taking ADHD medication, which reminds the student that “it is a felony to obtain these psychostimulant medications by fraudulent means, to possess these medications without a legitimate prescription, and to give or sell these medications to others.” 

“Often, students come in saying that they have lost their Adderall prescription,” Stechschulte said.

To prove that the prescription has indeed been lost or stolen, students must bring in a police report or some other evidence of the incident. To avoid allowing the student to have a double dose of the drug, Student Health Services also sends a letter to the student’s previous doctor upon prescribing Adderall.
Although Adderall can be helpful for some students, it can be detrimental for others.

“I have seen Adderall-induced psychosis during my time here at Bucknell. It happened to a student who didn’t regularly take the drug,” Stechschulte said.

Unnecessary Adderall use, especially when combined with other substances like marijuana and alcohol, can cause acute psychosis, insomnia, an irregular diet and heart arrhythmias, among other things. 

While Psychological Services offers services for students struggling with substance abuse, they were unable to provide the exact frequency with which University students use Adderall in a recreational manner.

Stechschulte also acknowledges that the use of Adderall is a complicated issue.

“There is a debate that says ‘Why can’t I be as good as I can be?’ It is a medical and ethical dilemma. If there is a single mother who needs to work two jobs in order to provide for her family and who cannot get through the second job without an extra boost from Adderall, who are we to deny her that?” Stechschulte said.

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