The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) reacts after Texas A&M’s game against South Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
A losing game
February 28, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts after hitting a home run during Texas A&M’s game against Lamar on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
A Lamar-velous night
February 27, 2024
Rylen Wiggins (2) smiling after earning a homerun during Texas A&Ms game against Sam Houston State on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Bye bye Bearkats
February 27, 2024
Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) reacts after Texas A&M’s game against South Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
A losing game
February 28, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) and outfielder Hayden Schott (5) react react during Texas A&M’s game against Lamar on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. Lamar
February 28, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts after hitting a home run during Texas A&M’s game against Lamar on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
A Lamar-velous night
February 27, 2024
Rylen Wiggins (2) smiling after earning a homerun during Texas A&Ms game against Sam Houston State on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Bye bye Bearkats
February 27, 2024

The study drug dilemma

 
 

The idea can be tempting – faced with mounting assignments and fast-approaching tests, students on campuses across the nation turn to pharmaceutical stimulants to stay ahead of the curve.
But while students are using, officials at Texas A&M and elsewhere remain opposed to drug usage without a prescription, pointing to the host of medical side effects that may arise.
“If they take too much, which we see kids here doing, like taking double the dose during exam times, then they start to have some kinds of problems – mostly anxiety, nervousness and being jittery,” said Dr. David Teller, associate director of Texas A&M Medical Services.
Such information may go unheeded, however, by students facing a deadline. One junior chemical engineering major, who uses Adderall without a prescription, started using the drug as a freshman. He now uses it almost every day, and will use it to prepare for upcoming finals.
“Students in my classes acted like it would solve all your problems,” he said. “Problems like not being able to focus, being too tired, not being able to stay up late to finish your assignments.”
The junior said he has no problems accessing Adderall. It costs him $3 per pill, and he spends anywhere from $21 to $30 per week to maintain a supply.
“This drug is passed around like it’s gum on campus like during finals week,” he said. “I was just in Evans last night when I saw two girls split an Adderall right out on the table for anyone to see.”
One freshman business major, who also uses Adderall without a prescription, started using the drug in high school. Her roommate has an Adderall prescription, which makes obtaining it easy and free.
“Of course I will use this for finals, just like half of our campus,” she said. “It will not only help me stay awake and focused to study, but while everyone else is stress eating I’ll probably lose five pounds this week with the amount of Adderall I’ll be taking.”
A year ago, Teller said Beutel Student Health Center stopped renewing prescriptions for Adderall and other prescription ADHD medications because of concerns about abuse of the drugs.
“We weren’t doing the screening test or anything, we were continuing treatment for other people and that put more of the burden of verifying on us,” Teller said.
Jessica Bowers, assistant coordinator for the Alcohol and Drug Education Program, said many students abuse Adderall while studying or completing class work without fully considering the negative health implications.
While the freshman business major said the only side effect she experienced was an increase in irritation and hunger, the junior chemical engineering major said he has noticed some troubling side effects from his usage.
“From using it over the past years I have noticed my body has become acclimated to it,” he said. “If I don’t take it I will sleep the entire day, not be able to focus on anything and eat everything in sight. I don’t think it’s safe because it increases your heart rate, so I can only assume the long-term side effects would be something such as a heart attack.”
Texas A&M officials said any student caught taking the stimulant without prescription faces the same penalties as a student caught with other illegal drugs.
“If a student is found responsible for a drug policy violation they could be facing anything from a period of conduct review all the way up to potential expulsion,” said Dayna Ford, program coordinator for Student Conduct Services.
Bowers said even if a student is only distributing the stimulant to others and not taking it themselves, they could face penalties such as redaction of scholarships and denial of any future financial aid.
Along with the penalties students face from the University, Bowers said the use of the drugs without a prescription is illegal.
“That’s one thing that I think a lot of students might not understand,” Bowers said. “If they are providing pills to their friends they can be charged with a felony, charged up to a $10,000 fine, and get up to two years in jail. If they are caught with an Adderall or Vyvanae that hasn’t been prescribed to them then that is a misdemeanor.”

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