NY Senator Charles Schumer appeals for colleges to come up with tougher policies on students using stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin.
Adderall and Ritalin are both forms of amphetamine legally used in the U.S as treatment for those with attention deficit disorder or ADD. A person with ADD is less attentive, disorganized, forgetful, and easily distracted which normally affects their academic performances. The stimulants are prescribed by the doctors for them to normalize their condition. However, Schumer found out in a study that up to 35 percent of college students were using these drugs to make them focus on their studies even if they don’t have the disorder.
Some of the known side effects of these stimulants are feelings of energy and invigoration and improved focus and concentration which made them illegally used by students as a study tool. Schumer calls this habit as ‘academic doping.’ He recommended for students to drink coffee or NoDoz caffeine capsule instead of depending on these drugs.
Schumer pointed out that it is the responsibility of the colleges to stop this drug abuse by implementing diagnostic and monitoring plans to detect students using it. This step is crucial because those who will be able to acquire these drugs can easily distribute it to other students.
"For somebody to call up and say 'well, my doctor prescribed it at home, send me pills, here's the prescription number...' that's not good enough," said Schumer in a press conference last Sunday. "If a student gets 100 or 200 Adderall pills, even if they are legitimately entitled, they may lend a bunch to their friends."
The use of adderall and ritolin has negative side effects such as depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior, and a mental disorder called psychosis.
Schumer proposed that campus health clinics should request for a detailed medical, educational, and psychological history of the students while those outside the campus health clinics should be required to present a mental health evaluation from a certified health officer and a parent or guardian’s approval.
He would also want colleges to include the dangers of using these stimulants during freshman orientations to increase awareness.