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Adderall Arrives at Christian Colleges

Are well-meaning evangelical faculty and administration in part to blame?

Like any university campus, Christian colleges/universities have their share of students who abuse street drugs. But in my work with Christian college students over the past few years, I've noticed more and more over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse. One of the newest and seemingly innocuous (from the students' perspective) drugs of choice is Adderall.

Adderall is prescribed to those suffering from ADHD. However, students who feel pressure to achieve high grades and maintain the requisite college experience are turning to Adderall, known as the "study buddy," for a boost. As an "academic steroid," it gives students the energy and focus they need to pull all-nighters or study for long periods during the day. And it's easy to get. A student can buy it on campus from other students or lie about their condition in order to obtain a prescription from a medical provider. Inside Higher Ed reports that nationally, the number of students who are using Adderall and Ritalin as "study aids" is close to10 percent. In a New Yorker article titled "Brain Gain," Margaret Talbot writes:

… in recent years Adderall and Ritalin, another stimulant, have been adopted as cognitive enhancers: drugs that high-functioning, overcommitted people take to become higher-functioning and more overcommitted. (Such use is "off label," meaning that it does not have the approval of either the drug's manufacturer or the Food and Drug Administration.) College campuses have become laboratories for experimentation ...
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