I have seen what Adderall can do for and to you. Let’s start with what people think it can do for you. This “smart drug” has been marketed around schools as some sort of intellectual steroid. Students in my school use it for mid terms, finals, the SAT, and the ACT. I am sure others use it far more often for the more common weekly tests. I can’t really blame them sometimes when I think about how vital the right SAT score is to get into their college of choice. I have to admit I have been tempted before too. I see those around me think they are capable of working for hours on end until there is no page to be read or worksheet to finish. I think, “Maybe I can take one and finish up the book we were supposed to have read two hundred pages of by now. You know the one I am on page thirty of.” I have these thoughts but then I look and ask around.
From what I’ve seen and heard, it only makes students sleep less, get anxious, and have thoughts of using it again. The continual use is what scares me. It should too. Long term use of Adderall, being classified as a Schedule II drug, can and does result in insomnia, severe anxiety, severe psychosis, paralysis, hallucinations, and kidney/liver damage. It is one of the most commonly abused and addictive prescription medications in Howard County and in the United States, and people think of it as a way to get ahead in school. What it actually does is get you behind. When you don’t sleep, your body simply cannot focus, much less do well on the SAT or any other test. When you freak out about what most people wouldn’t give a second thought to, you lose a part of yourself when constantly worrying about what someone said. The anxiety and insomnia, matched with being a senior applying to college, is more than enough to make students crazy. No wonder we take “sick” days.
After doing more research, I can pick out almost every side effect I can notice without medical equipment and point to someone I have known who takes Adderall that exhibits these symptoms. I see a student who said he has taken Adderall since elementary school because he was too fidgety in class, and now suffers with insomnia and hyper anxiety. He doesn’t eat lunch because he isn’t ever hungry. Another person I know took it once and felt nauseous, paranoid, and couldn’t sleep a few nights in a row, just to get a better score on the SAT. He later told me it didn’t help him. My thought was if you needed drugs to do well enough to get into a specific university, odds are you will probably need more to not flunk out once you’re there.
I do not know what it’ll take for this trend of Adderall abuse to slow or stop, but I hope my experience and thoughts change someone’s attitude about it.